Pancake Day – Youre invited!

Join us on Tuesday 13th Feb 2024 from 10am-12:30 for some pancake day fun! Races, crafts and yummy pancakes for all ages. It’s all by donation, no set fee. Pop along and enjoy a family friendly get together at St Mary’s church, Ash Vale GU12 5JE All are welcome.

PS – We don’t have staff for this, just a lovely team of volunteers, and all help is much appreciated at tidy up time. Thank you for pitching in – many hands make light work!

pic credit https://pixabay.com/users/valshill-12389644/

Little Lambs getting creative – come and join in!

New year, new toddler group?

Our Tuesday baby and toddler group is called Little Lambs Library and we run each week in term time 10:00-11:30 here at St Mary’s on Vale Road in Ash Vale, GU12 5JE. All welcome and it’s free / by donation. We start with a cuppa, craft and play, then the bouncy castle goes up, and we finish with story and songs.

We would love to welcome you!

Thank you – and please keep voting!

This is wonderful news! The local Food Parcels team would like to say a big thank you to everyone who voted for us recently on the Co-op Communtiy page! Your votes have helped us to raise £1,171.07 so far, to help feed local families in crisis.

Please keep voting! Every vote for St Mary’s means more funding for the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project. We need as many votes as possible before 24th October 2024, to secure further funding from the Co-op community fund for winter 2024. Please choose us as your local cause here: https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/76829

Community Forum: Would you like to talk to the community team have your say? Co-op is hosting a community forum on 21st March at the Ash Parish Centre. Local people are welcome to join in and share their views. Book your place and join in to find out more by clicking on this link: Your local Coop Community forum for Ash and the surrounding villages (smartsurvey.co.uk)

Thank you for your support!

Ceileidh 3rd Feb 7.30pm – Book today!

Hello everyone, who’s up for a party? It’s time to book your tickets for the Candlemass Ceilidh on Saturday 3rd Feb 2024, doors open at 7.30pm here at St Mary’s on Vale Rd GU12 5JE.

To book please text / phone / WhatsApp our Project Manager on 07730 609446 for tickets. Please do book in advance so that we can be sure to cater. (and let us know if you have any dietary requirements!)

We are asking for a suggested donation of £10 a ticket (or give what you can afford) which includes entry, music, dancing, fun and food. (Half price for children.) The amazing Andy Johnson and team will be leading the fun, including dances, music and songs.

We will also have a bar available and a raffle on the night to help fundraise and cover our costs. Any raffle prizes gladly received, donations welcomed. See you at the party!

#CandlemasCeileidh #Dancing #CommunityFun #FamilyFriendly #Dancing #Music #Raffle #Food #ComeAndJoinUs #Community #JoinTheParty

Welcome to St Mary’s – Come along and join in!

Our regular term time community groups start back again at The Chapel and St Mary’s from 8th Jan 2024. Have a look at what’s on and do pop in to join us!

Mondays 9:30-12:30 Chapel Cafe (Warm Welcome venue) free tea / coffee / snacks / soup lunch. The Chapel, Wharf Rd, GU12 5AY

Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 Little Lambs Library (baby and toddler group with bouncy castle ages 0-4yrs) at St Mary’s, Vale Rd, GU12 5JE

Tuesdays 20:00-21:00 Choir Practise in Church (no auditions, just pop in and join us, and make a joyful noise!) at St Mary’s, Vale Rd, GU12 5JE

Wednesdays 11:00-14:00 Chapel Kids (baby and toddler group with lunch club and sensory play after lunch ages 0-4yrs) at The Chapel, Wharf Rd, GU12 5AY

Fridays 10:00-13:00 Community Cafe (warm welcome venue) free tea / coffee / biscuits and soup /toasties lunch served at 12:00 St Mary’s, Vale Rd, GU12 5JE

Sundays 10:30am church service and Sundayschool followed by refreshments in the church hall. St Mary’s, Vale Rd, GU12 5JE

All free / donations accepted. No need to book just turn up!

We look forward to welcoming you.

Join our Flowers Team!

Calling all flower arrangers! Whether you can just put fresh blooms in a jam jar, or are a skilled artist who can work with pedestals and oasis, we need your help please.

Steph needs some new volunteers to join the St Mary’s flower arranging team. You can volunteer as often as you like, no pressure to ake a weekly commiment – even once a term is a huge help. It’s a lovely job, making the church beautiful for Sunday services and special occasions.

Interested? Text us on 07730 609446 or message us on facebook @stmarysashvale and we will put you in touch with Steph. Thank you and we look forward to hearing from you.

#Flowers #ChurchFlowers #FlowerArranging #Community #Volunteers #ChurchDecoration #FunWithFlowers #Creativity

Sensory joy at ChapelKids

Did you know? At Chapel Kids baby and toddler group we have sensory play after lunch. It’s great fun and superb for developing fine motor skills. we have tried a lot of different things from magic sand to playdough and from pasta to funky foam. We aren’t worried about a bit of mess!

This week we tipped out a whole box of cornflakes into the tuff tray, got out the play kitchen utensils and dived in! The children made ‘pasta and meatballs’ ‘porridge’ and ‘soup’ in their pots and our youngest chef enjoyed munching away on handfuls of cereal! It was great fun and even the grownups joined in to stir the pots and ‘taste’ the delicious dishes.

Would you like to join us? #ChapelKids meets on Wednesdays in term time 11am-2pm at The Chapel on Wharf Road GU12 5AY. We start with a cuppa, story and songs, craft before lunch and then sensory play after lunch. You can bring your own picnic or enjoy the beans on toast (or similar). We welcome children ages 0-4years and we don’t mind who brings you! Parents/Carers/ Childminders… as long as you’re up for joining in and having fun. We are a caring community group and everyone pitches in at tidy-up time too.

ChapelKids is free. If you can, we do ask for donations please to help towards our costs, so we can keep the Chapel open, warm, staffed and full of fun for years to come. https://givealittle.co/c/4J0mRHvQiu8Yr6ZBDDtinf Thank you for your support!

Contact our Project Manager: 07730609446 or pop in any Wednesday and say hello!

Last session this term Wed 13th Dec 2023. First session in the New Year is Wed 10th Jan 2024. We have an open planning session on 3rd Jan – all welcome if you’d like to pitch in some ideas!

#ChapelKids #BabyAndToddlerGroup #SensoryPlay #MessyPlay #Creativity #SongTime #LunchClub #Community #FamilyFriendly

Love and Light Party 31 Oct – text to book today!

It’s October! The annual Love and Light Party will be on 31st October as always. It’s on a Tuesday this year, after school at 4-6pm at The Chapel on Wharf Road GU12 5AY. If you would like to join us you are very welcome! Text or phone or WhatsApp to book your places please asap so we can be sure to cater! 07730 609446

What’s happening? Join us from 4pm onwards for snacks, crafts and games, Martin will start the disco at 4:30pm, and we will have sparklers at 5pm if the weather permits. Hotdogs and s’mores for tea, and a party bag to take home if you book in advance. Book today! 07730 609446.

What does it cost? We don’t exclude anyone based on their finances. We do ask for donations please – give what you can, to help cover the costs of the event. Some people can afford more than others, and every penny counts. Thank you! https://givealittle.co/campaigns/0e5ae7c4-ccad-4f64-806f-0bdda20b8876

Can we dress up? Yes of course! Nothing too scary please, as there will be little ones about. We have some UV lights for the disco so wear something neon if you want to glow up! You do you – come as you are or dress up as whatever you like.

Volunteers are always needed please for setting up / serving drinks and food / prepping party bags / helping out / welcoming / clearing down. Text or phone us if you can help, or speak to Alex when you see her. Thank you!

SPARKS funding for Ash Villages Food Parcels Project

Just like so many other charities, churches and community projects, the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project is suffering from a reduction in donations of food, toiletries and funds as everyone adjusts their budgets to get through the cost of living crisis. We are doing all we can to keep costs very tightly controlled and have been more public about asking for help on social media recently. However, funding is very tight and we are in need of more help to keep the service going for as long as it is needed.

Today we are delighted to share some good news – the SPARKS fund has awarded us enough funds to fill our food parcels for 5 weeks! The SPARKS fund is part of Voluntary Action South West Surrey, helping communities impacted by covid19 and its wider impact on health and wellbeing. This is a very welcome grant indeed, and will make a huge difference to the local people we support in Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham. Every parcel is a response to help a person or family in crisis, and every penny of this grant will be providing food and essential toiletries to those in need in the coming weeks.

We hope that all our friends and neighbours in the local area will keep the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project in your thoughts and prayers as we head towards autumn and winter. Please do get in touch if you would like to volunteer, donate or collect tins at your school / company / club / church / shop / and please keep us in mind especially as Harvest Festival approaches. We would be very grateful for any contributions of store cupboard foods, essential toiletries or indeed funds which we use to buy supplies in bulk. We also accept donations online via Give a Little here:

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c

Thank you for your support and wishing you a wonderful summer,

Alex & Carla

#AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject #FoodBank #AshVale #AshGreen #Tongham #Ash #Community

Contact us about the project: 07730 609446 / foodparcels@ash-vale.org.uk

Ash Villages Food Parcels Project

By Alex Sanderson 

Did you know? This amazing local team of volunteers have been feeding people in need in our villages since April 2020!

How does St Mary’s fit in? St Mary’s is the local parish church in Ash Vale. As well as Sunday services, we love to serve our amazing community all week long! We host community groups – everything from toddlers to choir to Friday Community Cafe. Nearby, we work with the local Methodist Circuit to run the Chapel Project on Wharf Rd. We offer a Monday Chapel Cafe & warm hub there, host the Chapel Kids toddler group with lunch club, and provide summer picnics, monthly makes and other community, creativity and arts events. In these difficult times our most important project is the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project (and our Community Fridge opening Summer 2023). We work together with Carla Morson and a superb team of volunteers from both the church and the Ash Villages Support Circle, feeding 20-40 families every week. 

What does the project do? The Ash Villages Food Parcels Project serves our neighbours in Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham. We deliver emergency food and toiletries to local people in crisis, and offer a listening ear. Twice a week teams go out in the evening to collect donations of bread and perishables from the supermarkets and others shop for the best value items to top this up, to make a balanced food parcel. We add these to the food items donated by local people and then pack the parcels the following morning, ready to go out to local people in need. 

How do we help people? Our Food Parcels project helps local people in crisis, by providing emergency food and toiletries. This includes ‘baby bank’ items eg nappies. Referrals come from CAB, Wellbeing Team, Social Services, DWP and local churches too. As well as food, we offer a listening ear, and help to connect people to other sources of help, including Monday Chapel Cafe and local warm hubs. We are passionate about connecting with people to battle against the anxiety, isolation and mental strain that goes hand in hand with food poverty, not just providing a one-off parcel. The lovely thing is, that lots of people who receive a parcel later go on to volunteer or donate to help others once they are back on their feet. This community is truly amazing! 

How can local people help? We can all work together to help our neighbours. Our volunteers are amazing at what they do and we can always use more hands on deck. The other issue is of course funding. Typically we spend around £400 per week on basic essentials for the parcels, to top up what comes in as donated items. Please help us to keep the food parcels filled and keep the Chapel doors open for a warm welcome. Here’s the donations link: 

https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c

You can donate once or sign up for a regular gift. If 100 people could regularly give £4 a week we could cover the food costs! Will you join us? 

You can also donate items for the parcels direct to us. We use the app called  “Bank the food” to let our supporters know what is most needed each week. You can text or phone us and ask if you’d like more information: 07730609446

Thank you for your support. It makes all the difference to local people in need. Let’s make sure we can proudly say that in our lovely community,  none of our neighbours go hungry. 

Thank you for your support. 

Alex