The Hummingbird Centre Logo
Registered Charity Number 1156595

The Hummingbird Centre
Grange Courtyard
Station Road
OX26 5DX

Tel: 01869 244 244
Find us on Facebook

NEWSLETTER August 2014

Welcome to our latest newsletter. Since we opened our doors on April 1st, we have welcomed many guests, and news about us is spreading!

The Hummingbird Centre is run by volunteers so relies on income from sponsorship and other fund-raising events, as well as donations. We are extremely grateful to many local businesses and individuals who are supporting us by arranging fund-raising events and/or providing other services and goods needed to run the Centre. Many events have already taken place and more are planned - see details later in the Newsletter.

On Friday 8th August 2014 representatives from Barclays Bank, Sainsbury's Bicester and Marks & Spencer Bicester were welcomed to the Centre. We are absolutely delighted that these three local organisations have chosen The Hummingbird Centre as their Charity of the Year and therefore it was our pleasure to spend some time talking with them, providing a tour
of the Centre, and giving them an insight into the complementary treatments and guidance offered to our guests.
Sainsbury's, M&S and Barclays
The representatives were unanimous in stating that one of the main reasons for choosing to sponsor the Centre was their desire to support a facility in the local community. They felt that almost everyone is touched by cancer in some way or another during their lives, and were impressed that the Centre offers support for guests and their families for as long as it is needed, with no restrictions on the number of times they may attend. Vince, Sainsbury's Store Manager, commented that whilst Sainsbury's offers an excellent support network for employees with cancer, it is also wonderful to know that The Hummingbird Centre is available for its staff living in the Bicester area.
Taxi services
Alpha Cars very kindly provides a free taxi service to/from the Centre. Should a guest need this service, please telephone the Centre and we will make the arrangements on your behalf.

We are able to offer counselling sessions on Thursday evenings starting in September for people and families affected by cancer. Please contact the Hummingbird Centre to make an appointment 01869 244244 .
Alpha Cars

Hannah's Makeover Evenings
One of our fabulous and talented volunteers, Hannah, has been kept very busy doing hair and make-up makeovers. Take a look at our Facebook page, to see the before and after photographs – absolutely fabulous!!!

From September 8th, Hannah will be holding weekly Makeover Evenings from 7-9pm. The cost of £50 covers 6 sessions for 2 hours and includes refreshments and 20% off recommended make up and skincare products. Places are limited so please book early to avoid disappointment via our Face book page:

Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts
Many of our guests are very talented and have produced a number of excellent craft items ,cards and jams which would make lovely gifts. Please call in and have a look - you will be tempted!

Arts and Crafts evenings will be held for 6 weeks from September 3rd - 8th October from 7-9pm at the Hummingbird Centre. The cost of £50 covers 6 two hour sessions , materials and refreshments. Places are limited so please book early via the link on our Facebook page:
Fundraising events

Sunday 24th August (Bank Holiday) The Bell, Sheep Street, Bicester. 3pm onwards featuring live music, BBQ, fun and games!

Prizes for raffle/tombola would be gratefully received at the Hummingbird Centre for this and future events.
Charity All Dayer
Also on Sunday 24th August, K E A Club on Ashdene Road, Bicester will be holding an event on starting at 11.00 am which will be a testimonial day in memory of Jack Tingey, late father of Andy Tingey.

The event will be a fun day where there will be a football tournament called The Jack Tingey Testimonial Cup 2014. Four teams will be playing for a Winners and Runners-up trophy. The day will be filled with fun and laughter with a combination of a bouncy castle, face painting, auction/raffle, BBQ along with a bar.

Please support the KEA Club to make this a memorable day in honour of Andy's father. The Hummingbird Centre would like to thank Andy for linking our charity with such a special day.
Jack Tingey
Quiz Night at The Nightingale, Langford Village Thursday 4th September starting at 8pm (good fun!)
The Hummingbird Garden Party
Fiona has very kindly offered to host a garden party, complete with an Arabian tent, at her home in Bicester on Saturday 6th September 2014, from 10.00 – 17.00 hours, to raise much needed funds for the Centre. Cards and handicrafts made at The Hummingbird Centre, together with cakes and jams, will be on sale. Also, Sharon and her daughter Naomi will be offering nail painting in return for a donation to the Centre. Tea, coffee and soft drinks will be available to purchase.

The entry fee is £3.00 per person, which will include a complementary glass of Bucks Fizz upon arrival. Please note that entry is by ticket only, available from The Hummingbird Centre on Tuesdays or Fridays, between the hours of 10.00 – 15.00. Fiona's address will be provided upon purchase of your ticket.

Please come along to support Fiona's wonderful event if you can ... and let's hope that the sun shines!!
Sunday 21st September:
Naomi Weaver and friends are launching themselves from a 70m high cliff edge and traveling at speeds of up to 40mph along a 700m long zip-wire over the 80m deep flooded quarry in Chepstow to raise funds for the Hummingbird Centre!!! Wow!

To sponsor them please visit:
Zip Wire Challenge
5th -12th October - Sam Bower's Hummingbird October half marathon challenge
"I'm running Blenheim half marathon and Oxford half marathon to raise money for the Hummingbird Centre in Bicester. I've already met some fantastic people through the Centre and knowing I can do my bit to help keep this amazing place going is a massive incentive to training and to complete these events The Centre provides care for so many people and I just want to do my bit to give something back".

Sam can be sponsored at:
On the evening of Friday 10th October 2014 Jacqui Faye and her co-performer Ray Hendren will be singing songs from films and musicals at The Bicester & District Ex-Servicemen's Club in aid of the Centre. Tickets will cost £15.00 per person, including supper and disco. Further details will be provided in next month's Newsletter, but please save the date for what promises to be a fabulous evening of entertainment.
The newsletter
If you have any news or photos to add to future newsletters, please let us know - we'd be very interested! We'd also welcome any comments and suggestions.
Become a Friend
The Hummingbird Centre depends on donations and fund-raising. At least £1000 is needed per month in order to function. Becoming a 'friend' and pledging a small amount of money each month will help fund the basic running of the Centre. To become a 'Friend' , please contact Mechelle 01869 244244 who will send you the necessary forms to enable you to set up a standing order with your bank.
Messages from our Guest Book
"Thank you for inviting us to an amazing and so calm place!! We are so proud to be able to support this great charity going forward. Love Racheal & Sharon, Barclays Bank Bicester."

"What a beautiful place! It's "heaven on earth" to anyone going through cancer or the treatment. We need all the help and support we can get – and it's here!! Many thanks xx"
Provisional diary dates (some may be subject to change)
Date Time Details Venue Contact
4th Sept 2014 18.30 Counselling (by appointment) Hummingbird 01869 244244
6th Sept 2014 10.00 -17.00 Garden Party - entry by ticket Bicester 01869 244244
16th Sept 2014 13.00-15.00 Podiatry (by appointment) Hummingbird 01869 244244
18th Sept 2014 18.30 Counselling (by appointment) Hummingbird 01869 244244
25th Sept 2014 18.30 Counselling (by appointment) Hummingbird 01869 244244
10th Oct 2014 19.30-23.30 Songbook - musical evening Ex-servicemens club 01869 244244
28 Oct 2014 13.00-15.00 Podiatry (by appointment) Hummingbird 01869 244244
9 Dec 2014 13.00-15.00 Podiatry (by appointment) Hummingbird 01869 244244
12 Dec 2014 17.00 Light the Light Hummingbird 01869 244244
The Newsletter would like to include contributions from Guests and volunteers. This month, Billie, one of our Volunteers, tells how poetry helped her. You can read her poems too.

A New Direction
I never thought I would write poetry – or anything for that matter other than the odd letter, postcard or e-mail and was not at all sure that I was capable of writing anything. I certainly have never agreed that everyone has a book in them – I certainly didn't have! This somewhat surprisingly changed after my experience of cancer last year, which proved a catalyst for doing other things, regaining my confidence, and expressing what I really felt about my experiences and my feelings about life in general. I think that writing poetry has helped in reassessing my life, noting down what I value and giving some perspective to people, events, places etc that I had previously taken for granted. It has certainly made me reflect in a new way about things.

People had always told me to write from what you know. I had never thought my experiences would be interesting enough (it almost doesn't matter, that is not the point of writing). I have now written poems on a wide range of topics, from my wig, to a visit to the dentist (humorous of course!), to the changing seasons and even one about Niki Lauda! Some are not planned, like the puppy ones below, others are thought about for days. Sometimes a phrase comes to you and just seems right, like the 'pip-squeak puppies, snub nosed subversives' in the second poem. The great thing is there is no right and wrong – and wonderfully they don't have to rhyme! At best it is like painting with words and there isincredible satisfaction in 'catching' a moment or a feeling.

The whole thing was sparked after doing the Maggie's 'Where Now' course, following treatment, when the course leader said at one stage that people often find it helps to find a creative and different way of expression, whatever form that may take. In my case I had studied words most of my life, having done an English degree and taught at Secondary level for most of my career. Others might paint, bake, learn an instrument, dance, sketch, or do anything that might allow for some expression or release of feelings that may have been pent up during the treatment process. Having or developing a new skill or interest can also help restore self confidence, which inevitably gets battered during the treatment process which can be such a critical period in people's lives. A new skill of any sort can also be challenging, diverting, absorbing and most of all, fun.
As so many of you know Lola, who has become 'The Hummingbird Dog' I have sent these two poems in for the newsletter. Looked at together they are quite humorous! It is not always plain sailing having nine puppies…..
A pool of flat black separates and crawls,
Bat like at first, worms for legs and tails,
But now morphed into moles
With paddling feet and tiny nails,
Smooth black that dissolves,
Crawling, mewling,
Irritation shown in bark like squeaks.

Shapes are revealed by planes of light
On newly rounded bodies
As they clamber and melt
Into sibling snugness,
Or squeeze tight together,
Fat black sausages in a row
As they rhythmically pull,

Soft sucking sounds subside
And velvet tummies heave softly,
Eyes and ears tight closed
Against the world. They rest,
Bonded bundles of sensation,
Oblivious in the dark quietness
Of this world of warmth and comfort.
At times they form
A perfect S, a swirl of puppies
Scattered supine on the mat,
At times a T, a splash, a 3,
Or, most often, a heaving, muttering blob,
Huddled in a twitching, squeaking pile,
Tangled together, secure.

Chill out, my loves, space out, have a stretch,
Collapse against the softness
Of a brother or a bed.
Crawl to a corner,
Gravitate to dark milky warmth,
Nestle in pink hairy blackness,
Rest easy, content.

These will surely
Eat their way into people's hearts,
Inspire love, absorb tears
Show faith, give moments of joy,
Uncomplicated in their simplicity.
Unspoiled, they are a blank canvas,
Of guileless purity, untouched symbol
Of Nature's blind generosity.
Lola and Puppies
Aux Armes, Les Chiots!
Or 'So much for Égalité'!
Now a tidal wave of puppies sweeps from one end of the box to the other,
United, Orwellian in their demands for better services, more food, cleaner living
They bark and howl, a baying fractious crowd,
Thank God no sticks or staves.

There's competition here too
For milk, for dominance, for attention.
They almost walk, this milling mob, clamber over each other,
Heedless of those they trample, what cries emerge.
Triumphant escapees scale the barricades at night,
They burrow under bedding, under brothers,
Subversive, take over, dominate the weakest,
Seize opportunities, take advantage.

These embryonic rebels, fixers, thugs, dictators.
Have discovered the relentless demands of survival
Lost some innocence, though still unspoiled by man
This is Nature's primal lesson, familial testing ground
For later dominance among their peers.
Only asleep and in satiated heaped collapses
Are they the quiescent innocents of yore,
Magnetic to their mother, simple seekers
Of warmth and sleepy ease.

I am taking lessons too, for theirs is harsh,
Observant I want to cuddle the weakest,
Foster the sensitive, rescue the squashed and the
Driven by maternal instinct and compassion.
I respond to their plaintive cries,
Their grumbling, relentless demands.

In this hierarchy I am the ruthlessly manipulated,
These crawling innocent, snub nosed subversives,
Pip squeak puppies, have moulded me artlessly.
For I am ranked securely in my place
Have been rolled over mercilessly
And am the fawning, servile weakling!
About the Hummingbird Centre
The Centre is a great place for cancer patients and their carers and family to relax, meet people, get information and have fun. Therapy sessions are available for the cancer patients. However, you do need to collect a GP recommendation form from your GP's receptionist or, alternatively, bring along your outpatient's appointment card.

Therapies are by appointment only - please call 01869 244244 to book a session.

Opening times: Tuesday and Friday: 10.00-15.00


Hummingbird Centre, Grange Courtyard, Station Road, Launton, Bicester OX26 5DX
Telephone: 01869 244244

Registered charity number 1156595