The end is in sight…

Hello and welcome back to the March edition of the Oakley Vale blog. We hope you’ve been keeping well and safe? Unless you’ve been living under a rock lately, you’ll have heard that Boris Johnson announced a roadmap to cautiously ease lockdown restrictions in England. In this blog we’ll outline just what that means for you, as well as give an update on our photo competition and highlight some feel-good local stories to spread some happiness!

We’ve got a lot to cover this month so let’s get right down to it!

Photo competition

Firstly, we wanted to start with an update on our latest photo competition… We can confirm that with entries now CLOSED, the voting can begin!

You can vote by heading to our photo competition page, choosing your favourite and clicking the thumbs up button on whichever photo you think most inspires the feeling of hope. We will be picking the winner at the end of March so there’s not long left to cast your vote!

For those of you who don’t know, our Oakley Vale photo competition gives you an opportunity to win £50, plus we donate £50 to the Oakley Vale Community Association – that’s £100 handed out each time! If you’re interested in entering then all you need to do is stayed tuned for our next theme, submit your photo through the website and then fill in your information, it’s that easy!

Here is a selection of some of the pictures we received this month.

The ‘Roadmap’

On Monday 22nd February, Boris Johnson outlined a four-stage plan which could see England’s coronavirus restrictions finally lifted by the 21st of June.

As always, we’ve got you covered and outlined all the key dates and up to date information below.

8th March

  • Schools and colleges can open for all students in all year groups
  • Recreation or exercise outdoors can resume with one other person from one other household

29th March

  • The rule of six will be in place outdoors
  • Outdoor leisure and sport facilities can return
  • Organised outdoor sport can resume

12th April

  • Indoor leisure such as gyms can open
  • Personal care premises and hairdressers can open
  • All non-essential retail can open
  • Libraries and community centres can open

17th May

  • Indoor entertainment and attractions can open
  • 30 people can gather outdoors
  • Outdoors, most social distancing rules will be lifted

21st June

  • All legal limits on social distancing can be lifted
  • Nightclubs can open and large events and performances can resume

However, before we get too carried away and book that much needed hairdresser appointment, it’s worth noting that the gradual easing of restrictions will be based on four tests. Without all these being met, we might just have to wait a little longer for that lockdown trim…

The four tests that need to be met are:

  • The vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • Evidence shows vaccines are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • Infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations
  • There are no new Covid-19 variants of concern

Back to business in Oakley Vale

If, and it’s a big if, the above four tests are in check, then we can finally begin to look forward to many of the things we’ve missed in Oakley Vale.

Our schools, who have worked so hard throughout the pandemic, will be the first to reopen to all students in all year groups – we can’t wait to see you back!

Next to open will be our beloved Harper’s Brook pub and Oakley Vale Community Centre!

Whether you’re popping in for a light lunch, an after school treat with your children or a want delicious evening meal with your family, the Harper’s Brook pub have got you covered with satisfying food, drinks and a heartfelt welcome after so long away.

The Oakley Vale Community Centre is another we can’t wait to see open its doors. The centre will once again be able to host weekly Pilates sessions, dance classes for children and adults and even free music lessons. It’s also home to the St Benedict’s church group which holds a Sunday service every week!

Last but not least, we will be able to visit the Corby Cube for larger events! There are already plenty of new shows on sale for the months ahead so be sure to check them out here.

Feel-good local stories

Finally, we want to leave you with two feel-good stories that recently appeared in the Northamptonshire Telegraph!

Firstly, did you hear about Corby’s very own, Nathan Hand? Nathan ran just over 91 miles (that’s 148 kilometres) in total over seven days to raise funds for S&L Rugby Club where he plays and coaches! You can read more about his incredible challenge here.

Oakley Vale Primary School pupil, Jo-Wilfred also hit the headlines for his passion of maps, flags and space. The six-year-old can incredibly name every US state and every country on Earth! Not content with sticking to just Earth, Jo-Wilfred is also passionate about space and knows all about the solar system and beyond. You can read more about him here.


All that’s left to say is that we hope everyone has a great month! Please continue to stay safe and well – see you in April!

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