About the Project



Who We Are

Talking Shop is a local group of volunteers working to provide opportunities for our community to get together and to bring valuable resources back to the village. We won Best Community Project in the 2013 OCVA awards on October 14th 2013.

Talking Shop’s Market & Café: 9am-12 noon

We sell delicious local produce and run a great cafe every Saturday morning from 9am to midday in the Village Hall, Sandford-on-Thames.

The Saturday Market & Cafe was started as a fundraiser and as an opportunity to investigate the market, to work with and to build up a team of volunteers and to learn about running a shop of sorts.

The Market is run completely by volunteers – we have a pool of about 60 people involved and about 15 work on any Saturday morning to run the market.

It has been invaluable in building a picture of what shape the shop and community resource should take. It is also proving a great fundraiser: we have raised about £30,000 so far.

Friday Shop & Café: 9.30am- 4.30pm

We are open every Friday selling fresh bread, newspapers, cheese, eggs, milk, yoghurt and much, much more.

Knit and Stitch:

Every Monday morning, 10am-12 noon, and Thursday evening, 6-8pm, here at Talking Shop. Join this friendly group to work on your existing project and learn new skills alongside others. The group welcomes men and women, of all ages and all abilities, who enjoy or would like to learn a variety of crafts. Current members enjoy knitting, crochet, patchwork and applique. There is always help on hand.

Talking Lunch

On the first Wednesday of every month at the village hall, from 12.30, we run a lunch club where we serve up a delicious two course meal. It’s a great opportunity to meet some new people. To find out more and to book yourself in, get in touch with Elaine on 01865 395771 / ekimber@talktalk.net. It’s £6.50 (including tea or coffee) if you’re not a member or £5 for members (plus £5 annual membership fee). Booking essential so the team know how many to feed!

Table Tennis

Every Tuesday from 5.30pm to 7.30pm in the main hall at the village hall. £3 entry fee per person per session; bats and balls will be provided. The sessions are led by Talking Shop volunteers and all profits go to the project.

Good Neighbours

Are you a good neighbour? Can you drive, shop or garden for someone, or simply drop by to have a chat? Or could you do with a bit of occasional help? We run a good neighbour scheme so people can help each other more easily. Once you join, you can volunteer to help someone else, or get help yourself. You can do as much or as little as you want, when you want, and any expenses are paid for. A lift to Talking Lunch is one option! To find out more, contact neighbours.talkingshop@gmail.com or phone 01865 774661.

Spoke Shop

A team of local residents, trained by the brilliant Broken Spoke Cooperative, run regular bike clinics at the market. Get in touch with us on contacts.talkingshop@gmail.com if you’d like to find out more or get involved.

The Future

Shops, schools and pubs often act in small villages as focus points to bring people together. Sandford hasn’t had a shop of its own for about 20 years and the school closed a long time ago too. Many customers of the market tell us they are enjoying the new social hub it provides, an opportunity to meet up with people and find out what’s going on in the village. We soon hope to open our permanent café and shop.

Sandford’s Parish Council, The Village Hall Management Committee and Talking Shop are working together to create a vibrant hub at the heart of the village. The redevelopment of the hall to include space for a permanent shop / cafe / community drop-in for the village is nearly complete. Thanks to the following funders for making it possible: £100,000 grant from South Oxfordshire District Council, £75,000 from WREN, £9,000 from Oxfordshire County Council, £7,000 from TOE2, £1,000 from The Four Pillars Hotel.

Thank you to everyone who supports us, including the CAG Project, Oxford Community Markets, the ORCC and OCVA. It is all going very well.

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