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My name is Alice and quite recently I joined the team of Talking Shop volunteers.  Having spent all of my adult life living in Oxford and the last 20 years here in Sandford I feel settled in the community and enjoy our village life.  I work in a local school at the Oxford Academy in HR & Payroll Services and am married to Paul.  We have 3 grown up children Helen, Matthew and Thomas and 2 grandchildren Freya and Ava.

Sandford was also home to my late mum, Marie, who sadly passed away in March 2013; she enjoyed living in our home with her extended family and was a big part of our lives.  Until her health failed she would often be seen helping at village functions and also shared her worship between St Andrew’s and Holy Family Church.

When our children were younger, they enjoyed going to the Sandford Youth Club and Paul and I did help to run this for a period of time; alas our children outgrew the club and we stepped down making way for new blood and a fresher approach.  Our Vicar, Bob, still mentions us in dispatches!

I have continued to support the community in other small ways through the church and now a wider group known as our very own Talking Shop.  As long as I have lived in Sandford, a shop or lack of it has always been a topic of conversation in the community; I am very excited, therefore, to be part of this new project.  At the beginning I would go along to the Talking Shop and support its stalls by buying local produce and quirky crafts from visiting guest stalls; a Hansel and Gretel picture and 2 retro cushions are my favourite buys.  The hall would be buzzing with activity and lots of friendly faces so it is no surprise that I find myself involved with the group of volunteers and becoming part of a team that organises the Saturday Talking Shop rota.

Between myself and 2 others we take weekly turns to organise a team to run the Talking Shop’s general stall and cafe; the volunteers are made up of different ages and experience.  However, we are  always looking for new helpers to add to our list of volunteers.  Anyone who is handy at serving teas, coffees or even cooking a fried  breakfast will enjoy helping, I am sure!

If you have already visited Sandford’s Talking Shop and enjoyed the experience, then I am certain you will have spread a word.  For me, I cannot resist an opportunity to open my Facebook page and announce a post or display a shop picture.  Friends and acquaintances are often intrigued and want to know more about it – I say ‘come along and visit – you can then see’!

Cafe flowers at the Talking Shop Market

We’re always really keen to have new volunteers joining our team. We have a fantastic group of people who regularly help on Saturdays but we’d love to add to our numbers.

It’s great to have people who either want to help frequently or just every month or so. The Saturday morning market is the main time for volunteering although we have plenty of midweek responsibilities.

If you’d like to chat about helping on the team then please contact Rebecca at contacts.talkingshop@gmail.com or 07765 971 041.