Coronavirus Help

Although we are no longer in lockdown some of the information on this page may continue to be useful so we will leave it here for the moment. The object of this page is to gather local information which will help us all through this difficult period. If you, as members, know anything which should be included please let me, Denise Thornton, know - you can contact me via the email address shown on your membership card or via this web site Contact page. We are particularly looking for local businesses who will deliver.

With all the links - if you get a message saying 'content can't be shown in a frame' click on 'open new page'


  • TVN Study Days As you all know Thames Valley Network (TVN) are holding regular study days on zoom. I know many of you have attended these sessions and the feedback is very good. Just click on TVN Study Days to access the TVN web page giving details of all the current study days.
  • Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more. For those looking for a bit of radio nostalgia click on Old BBC Radio Shows to go to a directory listing of old BBC Radio Shows. There’s classic fiction, comedy, drama, dramatisations, plays, documentaries, Shakespeare…. Something for all tastes, I think.
  • Clicking on individual links will take you to the relevant page which will list all episodes of your chosen subject. Choose the mp3 version for greatest compatibility, and the episode will load up and play. The more technically-minded should be able to download the episode to their device of choice for listening later. The system has been tested with ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’, ‘Round the Horne’ and Dr Finlay. The links work with I-pad, I-phone, laptop, desktop. Smartphones haven't been tested, but they should be OK.
  • Volunteer Driver Service If anyone has an appointment for a Covid-19 vaccination and is looking for a means to get there call the Volunteer Driver Service on 0300 3030 125


  • Age UK Answering Service and Help Line 01865 411288 If you have a worry or a problem ring, leave a message with your name and phone number and they will get back to you.
  • There is telephone support for people in Cherwell and West Oxfordshire - guidance on help that is available, support for people feeling anxious and suggestions on how to keep well at home. Telephone 0300 004 04 01
  • There are new contact details for Cherwell residents who are shielded or extremely vulnerable - call 01295-227051 or email The Oxford contact, 01865 897820 Mon - Fri 8.30 - 8 pm Sat & Sun 9 - 5 pm, still deals with personal care for the vulnerable.


  • Aldens in Osney Mead (formerly known as Meatmaster) has extended its free delivery area to include all OX postcodes. Minimum order is £45, but they do veg boxes and ready meals as well as meat, fish and wine boxes. Click here for the link Meatmaster They have Fruit boxes at £17.50, veg boxes at £13.50, smoked and frozen fish and fresh fish - call them on 01865 242827 to discuss what is available and wine cases from £6.25 per bottle
  • Bentley Food Service deliver dairy produce and chilled foods. For more info click on Bentley.
  • For that celebration party Bicester Bean are delivering afternoon tea. Telephone 07891 77219.
  • Bidfood offers Home Delivery in the Bicester area. Log on to Bidfooddirect to register and place an order. They now have plenty of 2 hour delivery slots and are also doing click and collect at most of their depots.
  • Bonners, the greengrocer in the Oxford covered market, are delivering to Bicester. There's a huge range of fruit and veg, and unlike some of the other suppliers, you can pick what you like and there's no minimum order value. Everything is sold either by number of items or by weight. You can't pick a slot; they aim to deliver within 72 hours. Click on Bonners
  • Chef Akila sell frozen, slow-cooked Indian dishes, authentically made from all natural ingredients in Yorkshire. There's a choice of around 20 dishes plus themed boxes, and each meal serves two people. Delivery is free for orders over £39; this means buying four or five meals. You get a date for delivery after you order and then a time slot on the day. And there's a 10% discount for key workers and over 60’s if you enter code HERO10 at checkout. Click on Chef Akila for more details.
  • The Co-op Bassett Avenue are now delivering to the elderly and vulnerable. Click on Co-op for more information or phone 01869 253885. Other Co-ops in Bicester are also doing deliveries.
  • The Farm Yard Range deliver cooked meals 01869 226666 to access them on line click on Farm Yard Range.
  • The Healthy Juice Company (Bicester Based) can deliver organic fruit and vegetables. Prices range from £15 for a box suitable for one person to £25 for a family of four. Additional bespoke options are available on request. Email or call on 01869 324328
  • Majestic Wines are offering free delivery with 6 bottles of wine. Majestic
  • Mark Miller (a local purveyor of best quality meats to local restaurants) is working with local retailers to offer a quality service of all meats and will also deliver vegetables, bread, eggs and milk. Contact Mark Miller on 07808 030056 or email
  • Mindful Chef do meal kits, using ethically sourced produce, the recipes look pretty good. What’s even better is that they do single person meals, so would be ideal for anyone on their own who can’t get out. Plus they have frozen ready meals if you don’t want to cook. click on Mindful Chef
  • Peter Goss the butchers will deliver, usually the next day. Phone 01869 243109
  • Produce Warriors - a local family run business are offering delivery of fresh fruit, veg, milk, bread, butter, eggs, salad etc. They are now offering Artisan bread from The Natural Bread Company based in Botley. You can look at the bread here Natural Bread. To contact them click on Produce Warriors or email
  • Sky Wave Gin for those gin aficionados amongst us; this local distillery, Bucknell based, will deliver to your door. Sky Wave Gin
  • The Wriggly Monkey Brewery, based at the Heritage Centre Bicester, are offering free local delivery of craft beer. Telephone 01869 246599 or click on Wriggly Monkey


All supermarkets are open.


  • The Army Flying Museum have a series of Lockdown Lectures. Click on Army Flying Museum for more information.
  • The Barbican have a programme of events. Click on Barbican
  • BBC IPlayer has loaded lots of new content including classic box sets, such as all 10 series of popular spy drama Spooks, plus Wallander, French & Saunders, Waking the Dead and The Missing.
  • Games Check out the link Games to Play Online for many free table top games. These include Hearts, Mahjong, yahtzee and backgammon to mention a few.
  • The Globe Theatre is offering free shows - click on Globe Theatre
  • The Houses of Parliament are giving free online talks. For more information and to book tickets click on Houses of Parliament
  • Check out The List for other Events, some free some not
  • The London Theatre Company have a programme of events being streamed. Click on London Theatre and select 'Virtual Theatre Fix from the menu options.
  • Liam Neeson is reading Seamus Heanus poetry. Click on Seamus Heaney to listen
  • The National Theatre have finished streaming shows. They are now looking at streaming into cinemas Check out the National Theatre web page for more details.
  • The New York Metropolitan Opera is offering free on demand streaming of it's operas. Click on Metro Opera.
  • The Royal Opera House have a programme of opera and ballet online. Check our Royal Opera House
  • Sadler Wells - are using Facebook to stream a number of productions
  • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra are putting out a weekly 'dose' on You Tube. a new clip is posted each Friday at 8 am. Click on TSO daily dose


  • Silver Swans The Royal Academy of Dance have developed an initiative for the over 55's to try out beginner ballet movements online for exercise. To find out more click on Silver Swans. A local teacher, Emma who was teaching weekly at Chesterton Community Hall, is holding zoom classes for the Silver Swans on Tuesdays at 1.30 at £5 per session. For more information please contact me.
  • British Bird Songs For an alphabetical list of bird (257) and their songs go to Bird Songs
  • If you want some colouring in sheets based on L S Lowry's famous paintings click on Lowry
  • Free Origami instructions - click on Origami
  • Visit museums, galleries, zoos, parks, stately homes etc without leaving your house - see the list and links at Virtual Tourist Attractions
  • Rummikub - you can play on line with your friends. Google Rummikub on line. The App is free from the Apple Store.
  • Don't forget the Open University has lots of short FREE courses available through their OPEN Learn programme. Again google to find this.
  • Body Coach has a chair workout for seniors. You can find this on You Tube.
  • The Libby App allows people to borrow library digital books and read them on their smartphone or iPad. You must have your library card number in order to register with Oxfordshire County Council, library online service. Just google Libby App - the directions on how to download and use are very easy.
  • Another library app Borrow Box Click here Borrow Box to get to the site.
  • Sport England have a page on how to stay active while you're home - just google sport England.


  • Latest government information As we move out of lockdown, it is important that we have the latest government information to hand. Here's some essential reading.
Staying Alert and Safe Social Distancing
What you can and can\'t do FAQs
  • and for those who want to make your own masks
How to wear/make a cloth face covering
  • Specific U3A info will follow
  • Zoom for those of you interested in hosting zoom sessions here's our user guide for hosts, and also the one for participants. Zoom Hosts Zoom Participants
  • For everyone struggling with online applications like Zoom, there are how-to-guides on the U3A website click How to guidance
  • Bicester & surrounding area Pub/Restaurant/Cafe take out
  • BBC Radio Oxford - are giving out useful information throughout the day
  • Bicester Chat (Facebook)
  • Bicester Community Chat (Facebook)
  • Corona Virus Helpers Bicester and Surrounding Villages (Facebook) You should all have received a card from this group through your door offering help if you are self isolating. Please use it if you need help.
  • Money Saving Expert web site for financial information
  • You may have seen, if you signed up to the Third Age Trust Mailings, that there is a new Facebook Group, U3A: Keeping in Touch. This is a very useful group.


  • A good podcast with tips for combatting stress / anxiety. Download Apple podcasts App from your App store(it’s free). Search “ chatterjee “ then choose episode 103 . It’s approximately 1 hour long and does, I’m told use swear words, but these sometimes good to let off feeling … (Pam Wakeling)
  • All the daily papers are available on line now, some offering special rates etc to help at this time.
  • Pam Wakeling has some advice for us all (based on her professional experience in similar situations) Only listen to the briefest fact headlines, re Coronavirus or get a family or close friend to do the listening/ reading and then just pass on the info that one needs to know. Break up the day into doing different tasks, whether learning a new skill or perfecting an old one.