A key aim of DRARA has always been to bring our community closer together.
DRARA organises a number of events throughout the year, providing opportunities for our community to come together to meet neighbours, build friendships and celebrate our community.
Over the past couple of years, we have had a particular emphasis on making our events accessible to everyone in our community - including those new to our area, those who may have never attended one of our community events before, or those that will be coming along on their own.
Linda Forest and Susan Lisk are responsible for co-ordinating DRARA events - they lead the DRARA events team, who meet a number of times each year to discuss ideas and plan events. There are also many in our community that get involved in DRARA events one way or another - delivering posters, helping on the day, making cakes, driving vans, heading up a particular event, storing community equipment... We are always keen to have more people involved - if you are able to help in any way or have any feedback or ideas for future events, please email Linda and Susan at email@example.com.
DRARA EVENTS IN COVID TIMES
In normal times, our DRARA events are centered around meeting our neighbours, building friendships and celebrating our neighbourhood - and this is usually achieved through face-to-face events. In Covid times, the face-to-face meet-ups have not been possible, but we are adapting!
Our Open Gardens event went on-line - see our incredible Open Gardens Gallery here. Our AGM moved o Zoom, we've had Easter Egg Window Hunts, and most importantly, a huge amount of effort has gone into connecting our community in a different way, through our support scheme and WhatsApp groups for each street, and based around different interests.
Now moving into Autumn/Winter, we have already held a DRARA Pumpkin Window Trail - with an on-line version too - see the gallery here.
Over the next few months, we have plans for DRARA involvement in Oxford Lights Festival, our much loved Living Advent, an online version of the DRARA Charity Quiz, and a series of talks and discussions on Zoom.
Lazy Sundays and DRARA in the Park were created to provide a regular opportunity for members of our community to get together and meet others, in a relaxed, easy going environment.
Lazy Sundays take place roughly once a month - we provide the Sunday newspapers, board games, teas and coffees and a place to meet (currently the kitchen at Richard Benson Hall, by St Mary and St John Church) - and all ages, from all corners of our community come together to chat over a cuppa.
DRARA in the Park is a monthly opportunity (through the warmer months) to get together in our favourite park for fun, games (to participate or just watch!), tea and other refreshments, and a chat. We've painted banners, done treasure hunts, flown kites, played rounders, cricket, boules, football, balanced on tightropes... and are open to all new ideas! Enjoyed by all ages, families and individuals alike.
Twice a year (March and September) we organise a Freecycle Day, where members of our community leave unwanted items outside their house for others to find and enjoy.
A number of DRARA Events are regular fixtures in our community's diaries:
DRARA Quiz Night (January) - teams pit their whits against each other to raise money for local causes
Open Gardens (May/June)- an opportunity to explore some of the amazing gardens in our community
Meal in the Street - started as a bring-and-share meal many years ago, and developed into a mini-festival! Live music, kids activities, stalls, food and fireworks... ll taking place in a traffic-free street. Taking a break in 2019, but many would love it to return in 2020 if we have enough help to organise it
Film in the Street (September) - we close the street, make some popcorn, bring our own chairs and gather together to watch cartoons and a film beamed up onto the side of a Divinity Road house. A wonderful community evening under the stars!
Warneford Meadow Apple Day (October) - organised in collaboration with Warneford Hospital, we gather in the Warneford Meadow apple orchard to gather and press apples, and drink the amazing results! Baking competitions, teas and coffees, and lots of fun all round!
Carols in the Street (December) - Singing carols in Little Minster (end of Minster Road) with mulled wine, hot chocolate and mince pies - a lovely way to celebrate the season
Living Advent (throughout December) - each day throughout Advent, a different house in the DRARA area lights up its advent window display - maps provided!
We have also organised a huge variety of events in past years, including:
May Day Olympics
Easter Egg Hunt
Room in the Street
Participation in Cowley Road Carnival with a magnificent shark built and painted by DRARA
... and we are always open to new ideas! Please get in touch!
WALKS AND TALKS
DRARA Events Team have also organised a number of Walks and Talks - from History Walks through our area, Nature Walks in Warneford Meadow, EU Referendum Debate, talks on dementia, policing, safety and most recently a Community Meeting to discuss local issues and issue reporting.