Stratford upon Avon Blog

Stratford upon Avon Blog

Welcome to the Stratford upon Avon Blog. Here you can find out about things happening in Stratford upon Avon, from the latest news to upcoming events. Why not subscribe to the RSS feed to receive the latest updates on Stratford upon Avon!

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Royal Marines put Stratford upon Avon College Students through their Paces!

Public Services students put through their paces at Stratford-upon-Avon College

Stratford upon Avon College’s Public Services students were recently visited by the Royal Marines Visibility Team.

Over 60 students on the BTEC First Diploma Public Services, National Certificate Public Services and National Diploma Public Services took part in the recent visit by the Royal Marines. The Royal Marine Visibility Team gave a presentation, explaining who the Royal Marines are, what they do and how rewarding being a Royal Marine can be. The day continued with a question and answer session allowing the students to gain as much information as they could from the serving marines. A variety of team-building and training sessions followed giving the students some physical exercise!

Andy Crossley, Public Services Lecturer, said, “I would like to thank the Visibility Team for taking time to visit us at Stratford upon Avon College. The students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the Royal Marines were very impressed with the calibre of our students. This event enhanced their learning experience and provided a unique opportunity for them to learn more about what the Royal Marines do.”

For more information visit the website:

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Stratford upon Avon Gains Transition Status

Stratford upon Avon Gains Transition Status

Joining major cities like Los Angeles, Berlin and Sydney, Stratford upon Avon has recently become a Transition Town, only the 210th to do so in the entire world!

This accolade is granted to communities who have actively demonstrated their commitment to reducing oil dependency and fighting man-made climate change. Here in Stratford we have made a huge step forward in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the town.

Transition Stratford's first meeting was held just eight months ago, and the whole team has worked tremendously hard in a very short space of time. Their achievement was applauded by Transition Network last week, in an email confirming that the town has met its strict criteria for official status.

So far, projects have focused on local food production, but the group will now review energy needs and the town’s economy. An energy ‘Open Space’ meeting at the Town Hall on 3rd October invites residents to take part in discussions on future energy needs. The meeting starts at 10am.

What are you doing to reduce your carbon footprint?
Tell us about your personal endeavours to fight global warming and boost the local economy!

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Stratford upon Avon College - Sports and Freshers Fayre

Students receiving massages from complementary therapy students at the Sports Fayre

Stratford upon Avon College recently held two fayres welcoming new and returning students to the college.

The annual Freshers’ Fayre was held on Wednesday 16th September. Local organisations, businesses and charities from Stratford-upon-Avon and the surrounding area attended the event to welcome in new students. Organisations included Waterstones, Stratford Picture House, Stratford Community Radio, Aston Villa Football Club, People and Planet, Amnesty International, the National Trust and many more. Oxfam also attended and encouraged students to set up their own campaign group within the college.

“This year’s event was our biggest and busiest yet,” commented Holly Rawlings, the college’s student liaison officer. “There was a constant flow of visitors to the Fayre throughout the day. We received very positive feedback from all those who attended and we look forward to repeating the event next year.”

Following the Freshers’ Fayre, a Sports Fayre was held on 17th September. This was a new event for the college and provided staff and students with information on the many ways that they can get involved in sport within their local community. Organisations included Stratford Leisure and Visitor Centre, Stratford Hockey, the Duke of Edinburgh Award, Wildmoor Spa and Adventure Sports from Warwick.

Commenting on the Sports Fayre, Helen Finlay, sports co-ordinator at the college said, “Feedback from the sports bodies involved, as well as staff and students who attended, shows that this was a successful and useful event. Many took the opportunity to kick start their physical activity through the rowing challenge and table tennis that was available on the day. I am looking forward to building on its success in future sports fayres.”

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Money for Nothing

A number of local organisations have been helped by grants handed out by Stratford Town Trust in the second round of payouts for 2009. More than £170,000 has been allocated to thirty community groups, where the priority has been to support projects improving the quality of life for local people.

Among those benefitting from the awards are the Stratford Stroke Support Group, who receives £2,500 to help fund their fortnightly meetings and Forum for sufferers and their families and friends.

A helpful £10,000 has gone to the Stratford Mediation Service, an organisation which helps local people resolve disputes. It also demonstrates to school children how to manage conflicts in a non-violent or abusive way.

The largest payout is given to the RSC; a £50,000 second instalment for the Transformation Project, the progress of which we can all see for ourselves as we pass by the ongoing work on Waterside.

Smaller grants include £1,500 to the 1st Annual Falstaff International Film Festival and £500 for Stratford-upon-Avon Cycling which encourages leisure, pleasure and utility cycling.

For a full list of recipients, please click here.

Has your organisation had an injection of funds from the Town Trust?

If so, please let us know what the grant will be used for and how people can get involved.

We’re waiting to hear from you….

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The New Diploma at Stratford upon Avon College

For the first time Stratford upon Avon College is running The Diploma in Society, Health and Development.

Stratford upon Avon College

This week 16 students have enrolled on the Society, Health and Development Level 2 course. This will give them the opportunity to develop their skills and attitudes to enable them to successfully work with, and for, others in the community and society in general. The course, which is delivered in partnership with local schools, is designed to introduce young people to the society, health and development sector. This includes the NHS, one of the world’s largest employers, the children’s workforce, the community justice sector and adult social care.

Diplomas are designed to provide new and innovative qualifications for 14 to 19 year old students. They have been developed to support progression to further study, training and employment. Students will spend some time in the classroom but will also benefit from hands-on, practical experience in the world of work.

“While studying one of the new Diplomas, students have the opportunity to develop and practise work-related skills within their chosen employment sector,” commented Charles Anderson, Deputy Principal at Stratford upon Avon College. “Diplomas give students a comprehensive qualification that includes theoretical as well as practical skills including functional English, Mathematics and ICT.”

From 2010/2011 Stratford upon Avon College will be offering a wider range of Diplomas in a number of subject areas including Hospitality and Creative and Media. The Diplomas are available at Level 2 which is the equivalent of 7 GCSEs grade A*-C and at Level 3 which is the equivalent to 3 ½ A Levels.

Diplomas started this month in the South Warwickshire area and by 2013 all young people between the ages of 14 and 19 will be entitled to choose this exciting qualification as a route to success.

For more information please contact Stratford upon Avon College on:

Tel: 01789 266 245

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Stratford upon Avon Food Festival

Stratford upon Avon Food Festival

I was very pleased to read about the forthcoming Stratford Food Festival, which takes place in the town from Friday 25th September to Sunday 27th September. The event will be preceded by a celebration of international food and drink, called Taste 09 starting on 21st September, and will involve themed streets in the town centre, featuring Americano, Indian, Italian, Chinese and British food, music and dance. There will be free food-tasting to whet the appetites of visitors and revellers.

On Monday 21st September, Sheep Street will become Little India, with Indian and Asian themed performances on the Corn Market, Bhangra dancers by the Swan fountain and free taste sessions from the Indian restaurants. Many bars, pubs and restaurants will be joining in the festivities with an Indian style theme to support the event.

On Tuesday, 22nd September, Rother Market and Greenhill Street will be turned into Chinatown, with Chinese and Asian themed performances, free taste sessions from Chinese & Asian restaurants, dragons and lanterns and a Loi Krathong type lantern launch.

Wednesday, 23rd September sees the High Street with an Americano theme. There will be wandering Western style dance, stretch limos, American Football, Elvis and ticker tape, all finished off with jazz, hot dogs, salsa and jive.

On Thursday, 24th September, Wood Street becomes Little Italy, with Italian style wandering serenaders and restaurant based free food tasters. Enjoy pizzas, pasta, violins and wine. Mama Mia!

And on Saturday, 25th September, as the Food Festival gets underway on the Recreation Ground, Henley Street re-lives Olde England. Step back in time to the Tudors with costumed knights and maidens, galliards, jigs and Morris dancing, Mary Arden’s Mummers, roast beef and ale.

Among other things taking place is the Taste Trail which promises to be very popular and an array of buskers across the town throughout the week.

For further information about the event, visit – it’s likely to one of the high-spots of Stratford’s social calendar this year, so don’t miss it.

And don’t forget to come back and tell us what you thought about the Festival. What was your favourite bit? Has it increased your interest in food? Did you try anything to eat that you hadn’t tried before? Do write in and let us know.

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By Anonymous Anonymous | 18 October 2009 at 23:45  

A fantastic event this year!


Stratford upon Avon Community Radio Station

When was the last time you listened to Stratford Community Radio?

The online radio station, which was officially launched in January 2009, is based in the heart of Stratford and exists for the benefit of the local community.

Stratford upon Avon Community Radio

There has recently been a bit of a re-shuffle as the programme schedule is refined and improved, and Station Manager Adrian Styles also has plans to extend broadcasting from the current three days every week to four. At the moment listeners can enjoy live broadcasts on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, but there are plans underway to transmit a full day of cultural shows on Thursdays.

Watch this space for details of when Thursdays’ Culture Day will begin.

Meanwhile, The Alternative Show continues to go from strength to strength on Fridays and can now be heard from 2-4pm, with Val Rainbow and Peter Keynton-Hook bringing you a variety of interesting guests and great music. Check out the blog for details of forthcoming guests, and add your comments.

Following on at 4pm every Friday is a new one-hour show called Happily Ever After, hosted by local writer Jacqui Alexander. The show has a literary feel and Jacqui is currently working to link up with local reading groups and writers’ groups, so that she can showcase local writing talent and review fiction as well as playing her favourite tunes.

And listen out for a brand new show that will become part of the schedule soon, featuring politics student and local resident, Sarah Brindle, who will be interviewing and probing our local councillors and politicians about the things that matter to the people of Stratford. More details about this very soon.

Don’t forget Stratford Community Radio is for you! To get involved or to contact any of the broadcasters at the station drop them an email via the MYSCR contact page - help to make this radio station what you want it to be!

The team look forward to hearing from you –

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