Leys Festival is promising to be ‘better than ever’

Monique van Assouw, from the Conservation Volunteers, holding one of the pots that will be planted with bulbs and given out during the festival

Monique van Assouw, from the Conservation Volunteers, holding one of the pots that will be planted with bulbs and given out during the festival

First published in News

THE next Leys Festival is set to be bigger than ever, with more than 50 activities planned for the play day.

Organisers of the £12,000 event have revealed the final line up for people to take part in on Saturday, September 6.

There are 52 activities planned, including laser quest, zumba, face painting, go-karting, zorbing and circus skills.

Organisations – such as the British Red Cross, Oxford City Council’s recycling team and Thames Valley Police – also have games and activities planned to promote their causes and encourage public engagement.

Organiser Jane Gallagher, from the Oxfordshire Play Association, said: “It’s going to be a super-duper celebration of the Leys community and the surrounding area.

“There is something for all ages and tastes, whatever the weather.”

There will also be 15 sports taster activities – including football and ping pong – run by the city council.

One of the stall-holders will be the Leys Community Market, who will be providing free food samples and making fruit kebabs.

Organiser Christine McDermott said: “There will be some tastes of honey, dried fruits and nibbles.

“It’s a case of trying to engage with the public and up the profile of the market, which is every month.

“It’s an opportunity to recruit for volunteers and stall-holders as well as encouraging people to come along.”

Also attending will be The Conservation Volunteers, who try to improve the estate’s green spaces, led by Monique van Assouw.

She said: “We will have a stall with something to involve families, probably a quiz or games.

“We’re also hoping to be doing bulb planting, so people can take little pots home with them.

“We’re trying to get more people involved in the group and this is the perfect opportunity to showcase what we do.

“I hope that people feel that we are part of the Leys.”

Greater Leys resident Jean Bailey is the secretary of the Oxford and District Indoor Bowls Club in Sandy Lane West, which will be letting visitors try their hand at the sport at the festival.

She said: “We desperately need new, younger members, so we want to see if people fancy the idea.

“Because most of our members are in their 70s, 80s and 90s, we’re gradually losing the top end where they’re dying off.

“I thought we could try to see if we can get a few more members from the Leys.”

The festival will be held in the Blackbird Leys Park between Cuddesdon Way and Pegasus Road from 12pm to 4pm.

To volunteer or get involved on the day, call Ms Gallagher on 01865 779474 or email jane.gallagher@oxonplay.org.uk

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