AFTER a six-week trial a community market in Blackbird Leys is going back to running as a monthly event.

The Leys Community Market tried to run every week from November 15, but will switch back to run on the last Saturday of every month from March 28.

Organisers said the market needs more volunteers before it can attempt to go weekly again.

Co-organiser Christine McDermott said: “We wanted to run the trial to see what that looked like, both from the customers’ point of view and whether it was feasible.

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“We realised that, at our capacity, it is actually a major commitment.

“We need to grow the group as a volunteer base rather than run before we can walk.”

The market began in December 2012 at The Barn, Nightingale Avenue, and is part of the Oxford Community Markets Network, which spans the city. There are about 15 indoor stalls that sell produce including jam, cakes, eggs and Blackbird Leys-made honey.

As well as stalls the market runs a children’s arts and crafts creative corner with a supervisor and an adult skills-share to help people learn new things.

Ms McDermott, who lives on the estate, said: “One of the issues is we’re having major changes within the steering group. People are moving on.

“That limits what we can do. Because of the extra activities and skill share it requires more volunteers than just opening a shop.

“We have about eight core people at the moment. To do it properly, with two groups alternating each week, we would need at least 20 regular volunteers.

“That would make sure it’s not too onerous and people get some breathing space so they can actually enjoy it without it becoming arduous.

“We don’t want people to feel obliged to give a weekly commitment.

It shouldn’t be over-taxing, it should be rewarding.”

As well as looking for more general volunteers, Ms McDermott added the group is looking for someone to become their treasurer, with a “fantastic” opportunity for free professional training in finance.

She said it had been harder to get community involvement in the market because residents have other commitments.

“Places in Oxford which have more interest and levels of commitment for their markets are in areas where people perhaps have more time.

“We are up against households that are really stretched, like families with both parents working or single parents.

“Also, like a lot of estates, there are a lot of projects that are set up and then flutter and die. People can be a bit wary of committing.”