Homeless Collection 2020 - Donations

Collection for Bedford’s Homeless

In collaboration with the Bedford Homeless Partnership

In recent years, there has been more awareness about the hardship of homelessness in Britain, with winter being an especially challenging time for anyone without housing. Bedford has the 8th highest number of rough sleepers in the whole of England, so we decided to support the Bedford Homeless Partnership in their appeal to donate items that would help people in our community that are homeless in the cold season.

On 25th January we held a drop-off session for donations in Lakeview Village Hall and invited Wixams residents to come by and bring with them any items that they would like to contribute to our collective donation.

We know that the Wixams community has a big heart, but during the session we really were amazed by the generosity and the number of residents that came by to drop off donations. Over the 3 hours about 60 residents visited our session and gave as much as they could – coats, blankets, toiletries, gloves, hats, books, food items and much, much more.

You can see below the huge contribution donated by the Wixams community. Well done Wixams!

Homeless Collection 2020 - Donations

All donations will be forwarded to the Bedford Homeless Partnership, who will make sure the items will be directed to the homeless charities in need.

We can proudly put into numbers what your contributions amounted to, it’s very impressive!

Homeless Items Infographic

A big thank you for everyone who came and donated, your contribution will make a huge difference to the life of someone less fortunate!

We’d also like to thank Paula and Lakeview Village Hall for allowing us the use of the Swan Room, and a big thank you to Asan for taking fantastic photos of the donations.

Press Coverage

This project has been covered by the Bedford Independent, you can find the story here: www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/toiletries-food-and-clothing-donated-for-bedford-homeless-partnership-by-wixams-residents/

Still want to donate?

If you were unable to make the date, but would still like to make a donation, please visit the following charities to see how you may be able to help. They will inform you about what types of donations are required.

Please visit the Bedford Homeless Partnership website to find out more about them and the services they provide.

Streetlink

If you are aware of someone sleeping rough, please use Streetlink. This will connect you to the local support team from Bedford Borough Council.

You can also download the Streetlink app here:

Wixams Christmas Competition Prize

Christmas Decorations Competition 2019

The 2019 Wixams Christmas Decorations Competition is now complete and we’re very pleased to announce the winning home further down the page. Every year in Wixams we see a lot of nicely decorated houses and our judges were very impressed by the fantastic array of styles on display this year.

All the Wixams Community Group projects are led by at least one of our committee members. This project was a joint effort by Cecilia and Karin, well done to them both for their hard work in putting together an excellent competition.

Some thank yous

The biggest thank you (again) goes to Michelle and her team at Budgens in Wixams for donating all the goodies for our prize, we could not run the competition without their support and generosity. Thank you again to Amanda for putting together the great Christmas themed hamper for our winners. All the wonderful photos of the houses below were all taken by Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who gave up a lot of his time to help us, especially because of the bad weather of late. And finally we’d like to thank our judges Barbara, Saqhib, Trish, Margaret and Richard.

The prize

Our winners have already received their hamper containing gin, wines, beer, chocolates, a panettone, tea, coffee, snacks and more:

Wixams Christmas Competition Prize

The Runners-Up

We didn’t have a prize for second place but the home of our runners-up was so beautifully decorated we wanted to share it with you. Well done for such a fantastic effort.

Christmas Decorations Competition 2019 - Runners-Up

The Winners

Many congratulations go to this winning home on Brooklands Avenue. You can tell this family love Christmas and when Santa Claus is flying over Wixams, their home will be the first he sees! We are sure this house gives a lot of happiness to the kids that walk by each day. We hope their prize will help make Christmas even more special 🥂

Christmas Decorations Competition 2019 - Winners

Other finalists

Here are some photos of the other great contenders in this competition. We’d like to thank everyone who took part for helping to make our village a fun and festive place this Christmas 🎅🏻

Spring Bulb Planting Morning – UPDATED

UPDATE – Please skip to the bottom for some recent photos of our spring flowers in bloom

With around 80 people taking part in our Spring Bulb Planting Morning, we’re very pleased to say that this project was an even bigger success than we had dared hope for. There were a wide range of ages, from toddlers right up to our lovely friends from the Wixams Retirement Village; it was wonderful to see different generations working together to make sure the bulbs were happy in their new homes. In the spring we’ll see the fruits of our work when those beautiful flowers start to bloom and add a splash of colour to Wixams.

We had some great comments from parents and the kids seemed to really enjoy the experience. Gardening is very rewarding, it can also be therapeutic for some, so we hope to have inspired a few of our residents to enjoy nature at a very young age.

There are some important Thank Yous down below but a special thank you needs to go to Karin who planned the whole thing and shared a huge amount of gardening advice, in order to give this project the best possible chance of success. Karin is a very hard working lady and she gave up a lot of her own time on this project and did the most physical work in the prep sessions.

We’re incredibly proud to say that this event was even featured in the Bedford Independent!

You can have a have a read about this project below or skip to the bottom for some wonderful photos from the event.

Preparation

There was a lot of preparatory work required to get this project off the ground. Over the last few months a few members of the Wixams Gardening Group have been meeting fortnightly to prepare the areas for planting. This started with a lot of weeding, removing of dead shrubs and we then moved a lot of the grasses from the areas next to the Village Hall to create a nice border. Finally, the day before the event we met one last time to loosen the soil and to dig out the holes for the bulbs to go in.

You can see some great before and after shots of the prep work on the Wixams Gardening Group page.

The event

We invited everyone to arrive at 10 am whereupon we gave them a little brief, some instructions and then sent them off to our 5 planting areas where they got stuck right in, rather enthusiastically in some cases! In the holes they added some compost, then the bulbs, more compost on top and finally they filled the holes back in.

There were 5 main areas in which we worked:

Spring Bulb Planting Map
Map of the 5 areas where we planted bulbs

In areas 1-3 we planted tulips and daffodils in alternating (hopefully) rows, daffodils in area 4 and crocuses in area 5.

Altogether we planted around 1000 bulbs!

Some thank yous

The event could not have gone ahead without some very busy people giving up their time to help us. As well as the thanks to Karin, huge thank you also goes to Adriana for her help on the prep sessions, ordering the bulbs and for creating the lovely fliers and content for the Wixams Newsletter. We’d like to thank everyone else who has helped preparing the ground for this event, including a special mention to Curly for his hard work and positive spirit.

Thanks go to Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) for all the hard work taking and editing the excellent photos. Thank you Paula and Sheila for providing the much needed refreshments and biscuits for our participants on the day. We’d like to also thank our friends from the Wixams Walkers who helped us run the day and showed everyone where they needed to plant the bulbs. The Wixams Community Group would like to send a big thank you to Colin and the rest of the Lakeview Village Hall Committee for funding this project.

Finally, we’d like to thank every single person who came out to take part in this event. By working together we have achieved something wonderful which will make people smile as they walk past our flowers next year.

Free gifts for all participants

The planting didn’t stop at just the event itself, we gave out a small bag of daffodil bulbs to everyone who took part. We hope they’ll enjoy putting them into their own gardens and it will remind them of their contribution to the Wixams community.

Spring Bulb Planting Box of Gifts

There were 66 bags, each with around 20 bulbs inside…

That’s another 1300 bulbs!

Press Coverage

This project has been covered by the Bedford Independent, you can find the story here: www.bedfordindependent.co.uk/wixams-residents-spring-into-action-at-bulb-planting-event/

Photos

Here’s some of the great photos from before and during this event, and of a clever little robin looking for food after everyone had left.

Spring is Here

It’s been a very wet winter and due to the clay soil Wixams is built on we had some real concerns about whether our bulbs would survive. We’re very pleased to show some recent photos and it looks like our flowers are strong fighters!

 

Halloween Comp Winners 2

Halloween Decorations Competition 2019

The very first Halloween Decorations Competition was a resounding success, with dozens of houses around Wixams covered in a wide range of spooky props. We saw many skeletons, spiders, cobwebs, witches (including a set of legs poking out of a cauldron), ghosts, grave stones, light shows and a lot of excellently carved pumpkins. Wixams has already become famous for getting into the Halloween spirit (pun intended) so everyone should give themselves a pat on the back for helping to create a fantastic community-led event.

Some thank yous

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Michelle at Budgens in Wixams for donating the prize for this competition, she was super helpful throughout and Budgens have been very generous. Another big thank you goes to my sister Amanda who did a fantastic job of putting all the prize items into a great Halloween themed hamper. We’d also like to thank Asan (Tu Plus Tu Photography tuandtu.com) who came along with the judges and took some excellent photos for us. Finally, a big thank you goes to the judges who took a few hours of their time to help us select a shortlist and then covered a few thousand steps so we could pick the winner. Thank you Cecilia, Barbara, Saqhib, Trish, Paula, Karin and Adriana 🙏🏼

The prize

We put together a bumper hamper of goodies for our winners, including drinks, chocolates, snacks and more…

Halloween Hamper 2019

The winners also received a trophy, ‘Scariest House in Wixams 2019’, which they can show off for years to come!

And the winner is…

We’re pleased to announce the winning home is the colourful house on Brooklands Avenue. The judges were very impressed by the variety of spooky items on display, lots of cobwebs and the overall impact of the lights display. A big congratulations goes to them and we hope they enjoy their prize.

Halloween Comp Winners 1 Halloween Comp Winners 2

Other contenders

There were a lot of fantastic homes to choose from this year, the judges really were split in deciding the winner. Here are some photos of a few of the other contenders we considered and some other great scenes on display:

Wixams Book Exchange Version 2

Wixams Book Exchange

As you may have seen in other villages, train stations and airports, Wixams now has a bookcase which is used to provide free books to all. If you have any old books you’d like to share, you can drop them off in the book case and pick up a new novel whilst you’re there.

We now also have a shelf dedicated to DVDs, especially those for the kids to watch over the summer holidays!

You can find the Wixams Book Exchange in the foyer of Lakeview Village Hall.

Wixams Book Exchange Version 2