A great day with Soul-in-Didcot

After a week of working hard in the community Didcot & district churches came together on Sunday 27th July to put on a fantastic event for all ages. There was free food, sports, drama, music, craft activities, and spaces for chatting and for prayer. We were very pleased to be a part of the day putting on a Balsam Toddler Tent with soft play, toys, bouncy castle and crafts.

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It was lovely to meet new families and share about our work and also to support the work of the local churches that have such a heart for the community.   Our Balsam Family Tree (below) was made up of hand prints of our families from our weekly Family Day.  Children coloured in pictures or words to represent families and we hung them on the tree!

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Thank you to volunteers from Cholsey Church and SiD who helped us set-up, and to the Didcot Baptist Church for the loan of their soft-play equipment, and of course to our faithful Balsam Volunteers who came out once again and enthusiastically gave their time to help make it such a wonderful day.

Didcot Summer Fayre


Didcot summer Fayre 2014    On the 19th July we joined with local charity and community groups at the Didcot Summer Fayre to raise awareness about our work and serve the local community.  We had an amazing Face-paint artist at our stall, Teresa, who worked extremely hard all day and proved very popular! We were able to raise £81.65 and meet some great people from various groups such as Oxfordshire Mind, Soha and Style Acre.  Thanks to all those who helped run our stall and those who came to visit us!

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The National Citizen Service is a government initiative for young people aged 16 and 17 to work together on a social action project in their community and build skills for work and life. This year Didcot NCS chose to support Balsam Family Project! After a week of busily planning their activities they took to the streets for a week of fundraising and support for our charity! After 2 bag-packing events, a car wash and visiting local businesses for donations they have managed to raise an amazing £799.41 for Balsam! Along with some toys donated by The Entertainer and some pampering samples for our mums donated by the Body Shop! All the young people worked very hard and with enthusiasm. We were really touched by how much they all cared about our work as a charity and really wanted to do their best for us. THANK YOU NCS DIDCOT for all your hard work!

Didcot NCS summer 2014

Summer Graduation

The sun came out for a wonderful summer BBQ and college graduation this year. Children had great fun on the bouncy castle, face painting and making sparkly summer pictures. There was space to play and chat outside and plenty of food to enjoy.  We were happy to welcome Mayor Scott Wilgrove to join us and he really got involved, serving food and chatting with families cialis for daily use side effects and volunteers.

Summer grad collage 1

Then it was time to present our Family College graduates with their certificates. It was wonderful to hear about the hard work of each graduate and how much they had grown. It really was a very happy occasion so thank you to everyone who helped make the day so special!

summer grad collage 2


Winner Photo - Copy2014 BACAs Winner LOGO

Balsam Family Project has won a prestigious Business & Community Award (BACAs) at  a recent gala event at Cornerstone put on by Didcot First.  Alex Walker, Roxy Thorp and Sadie Gibbons represented Balsam on the night and were presented with the “Community New Partnerships and Collaborations” Award by their category judge Peter Miller-Smith, Chair of Board at Soha Housing and Scott Wilgrove, Didcot Town Mayor.

Award-photo-edited-2-300x197The gala evening was a wonderful night, recognising the good work of business and community groups and celebrating local talent with performances from The O’Gara School of Irish Dance and Performing Angels & Stars Stage School.  We at Balsam Family Project are honoured to receive this award and very grateful for the £100 prize money which will go towards resources for the Family College and weekly toddler group.

Emma East, from Didcot First said: “We are delighted the Judges chose Balsam Family Project to receive a BACAs award, which recognises them for their hard work and dedication to the local community.”

This was the 6th year of the BACAs, organised by Didcot First, and supported by
Taylor Wimpey. Individual awards are sponsored by Didcot Chamber of Commerce, Jennings of Garsington Ltd., Rotary Club of Didcot, Wallingford & District Rotary Club and SOHA Housing.

Balsam and a Musical Extravaganza!

Balsam Pic with Mayor at Music Concert

Balsam was privileged to be invited to Mr. Coull’s Musical Extravaganza at the Cornerstone in Didcot on 22nd May. Phillip Coull is a local music teacher who is well loved by his pupils and puts on a yearly recital for his students to show their progress.  This year he chose to support Balsam at the recital and gave us a very warm welcome.  We would like to say well done to all the students who were so brave in performing in front of a large theatre audience – you did brilliantly! And thank you to all those who donated to Balsam http://www.dailycialisuse.com so generously! The event was also attended by the new Mayor Scott Wilgrove and his wife Penny who have kindly said they will be very happy to continue to promote Balsam any way they can.  In total the event raised £550, so thank you everyone!


Book Launch Nov 2014 smallWe are delighted to be the chosen charity for the
Recipe Book produced by Christine Wallace, Lou Hatter and Jeanette Howes from the Didcot Street Fair committee.   It has been a wonderful community project with contributions from local residents and businesses, celebs and the local MP,
Ed Vaizey.Alex Christine Sadie small
If you would like to
support Balsam and the local community Street Fair
please buy the book! It will be on-sale at the events below or you can contact us directly to get your hands on one! Thank you to everyone who’s helped put it together! 

15th Nov Didcot Civic Hall – Christmas Bake Off and Craft Fair
22nd Nov Didcot Tescos – Recipe Book sale and signing from 11am
27th Nov Didcot Street Fair – Recipe Book sale and signing at 6pm


Didcot Bakeoff logo 3x2Didcot Street Fair committee are raising money for the Fair by hosting a Christmas Bake Off! on the 15th & 16th of November at the Didcot Civic Hall.  Come down and enjoy the event and the Christmas Craft http://medicineid.com/ Fair and support Balsam by buying one of the Bake Off Recipe Books!   Half of the profits will go to Balsam Family Project!

Details on joining the competition as a baker can be found on their website: www.didcotchristmasbakeoff.co.uk



Balsam Family Project is always looking at ways to network with other similar organisations and to form working links so that the holistic needs of families can be effectively met.

A new Housing Issue Group has recently been formed, meeting at The Hub, Didcot. The aim is to establish ways of working in partnership with groups such as Balsam Family Project to tackle more effectively problems relating to housing and social issues. Balsam Family Project is recognised as a resource that could assist in offering support to families.

Alex Walker, Balsam Project Manager,  attended the Big Society Forum in Birmingham – a valuable and informative day. The main aim of the forum was to network and build connections, understand the variety and resources established and available, and look at how we, as organisations, can be sustainable and effective in our work within our local communities.