Coronavirus Help

During the current situation many of our members may be self isolating and need help in various ways. 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'


  • The Philharmonia Sessions is a series of new online performances. On Thursday 16th July at 7pm Sheku Kanneh-Mason performed Saint-Saens's lyrical Cello Concerto No 1. On Saturday 22nd August at 11am there will be a family concert and on Thursday 17th September at 7pm the concert will be Schubert and Vaughan Williams. Click Philharmonia for more information.
  • Royal Albert Hall presents Ksenija Sidorova on Wednesdaay 29th July, Becca Stevens on Thursday 30th July, Sk Shlomo on Friday 31st July, Peter Collins on Thursday 6th August, Deelee Dube on Wednesday 12th August. Check Royal Albert Hall for their full programme and a link to this.
  • Classic FM have a list of the best classical music festivals you can enjoy on line this summer. Click Classic FM
  • U3A Bitesize Newsletter Hot off the press a new Newsletter. Click on Newsletter Express to read.
  • U3A - Online Events are offering some selected virtual online national events. The National Gallery and the British Library are kicking off our online season with one-off free taster sessions. You do need to register for the events - Love or Betrayal at the National Gallery July 3rd and Discovering Children's Literature at the British Library on 23rd July. Click on U3A Online Events for more information.


  • 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.


  • Bentley Food Service are now delivering 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 is now in a position to offer Home Delivery in the Bicester area. Log on to Bidfooddirect to register and place an order.
  • Bloom Valley now have an online shop with free delivery over £5. Check out Bloom Valley Shop and look at the products.
  • Blue Diamond Garden Centre have a home delivery service available. Free for orders over £50 if you are a Blue Diamond Club member. Just call 01869 208160. They have also improved their web site for ordering. You can now order for pick and collect as well as delivery. They are now open.
  • 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.
  • Cobble Lane Cured, who usually supply restaurants, have opened their online shop to the public. They are offering free delivery to Bicester, Brackley and Buckingham - just add discount code Buckingham at the checkout. Click Cobble Lane
  • Cole's Bookshop are now open but will continue to deliver
  • 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.
  • Eagles Road Side Farm Shop are selling farm produce on the road to Finmere (A4421) at Newton Purcell just by the sign to the Old Rectory Dental Practice.
  • 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
  • Holdsworth Foodservice, a company from Derbshire, are now delivering to this area. They are primarily a Foodservice distribution company who have extended their service to the public. Note their pack sizes may be larger than normal shops so make sure you know what you are ordering, there can be no returns. To see a retail price list click on Holdsworth Price List This is only a summary price list, there is more available online, including fresh meat. If you want to register please click on Holdsworth Register There is a £50 minimum spend for delivery. I don't know anyone who has used them so can give no views on their service.
  • The Little Blue Catering Company is now out in their Warrens Bakery van doing delivery's Monday to Friday, they have hot pasty's, sandwiches and household grocery goods that can all be purchased. They will come to your home and can accept cash or card on the van or can charge you via a text message or email if you are in isolation. Call 01869 254525 or message their Facebook page Little Blue Catering Company or email if you are in isolation
  • Lloyds Pharmacy have announced temporary opening hours Mon - Sat 7.30am - 7.00pm but they are closed from 9.00am - 10.00am and 1.00pm - 2.00pm. NHS staff and Social Care Workers only from 7.30am until 8.00am.
  • 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
  • Marks Fruit Stall will be back in Bicester on Fridays on Sheep Street near HSBC bank. They are still offering fruit and veg boxes for home delivery order at Marks Fruit and Veg
  • Mayfield Eggs will deliver to your door every week. A tray of 30 large eggs is £8 and a tray of medium eggs is £6.50. Click on Mayfield Eggs for more information
  • M & S are now delivering food boxes though one cannot choose the items, they are all already packed. They are also offering vegetable boxes to be delivered and a range of fruit baskets too. Free delivery depending on cost of items but mostly free delivery. Click on M & S Food Boxes
  • Meatmaster in Osney Mead has just extended its free delivery area to include all OX postcodes. Minimum order is £60, 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
  • 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
  • Morrisons are delivering Food Boxes - to see the range click on Morrisons. Keep trying for delivery slots they do become available.
  • The Muddy Duck at Hethe have converted the Tipi into an outdoor drinking area for the pub so have removed all the plants. The shop is the same.
  • Peter Goss the butchers will deliver, usually the next day. Phone 01869 243109
  • Preston Bissett Nurseries are doing home deliveries in our area (delivery charge for Bicester is £5). Good reviews and they will deliver compost.
  • 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
  • Rectory Farm at Stanton St John have opened for pick your own. They have strict rules for social distancing and suggest that wherever possible you tie your visit in with a click and collect or a visit to the farm shop, so as to reduce unnecessary travel. Click on Pick Your Own to find out more and read the rules so that you can decide for yourself if it is safe to visit.
  • Seven Mile Cookery & Events, suppliers of frozen meals, are delivering in the Bicester area on Thursdays. Orders need to be in by Wednesday. Minimum spend £20. Just google Seven Mile Cookery and Events. I can't put a link as the site is not secure.
  • Sky Wave Gin for those gin aficionados amongst us; this local distillery, Bucknell based, will deliver to your door. Sky Wave Gin
  • The White Hart at Preston Bisset are offering various boxes of groceries and will deliver within 12 miles. They offer a weekly shop box, a breakfast box, an essentials box, a fruit box etc. Check out their Facebook page - Preston Bissett or text on 07885632775
  • 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

Supermarkets Opening Hours for over 70s and vulnerable people

Sainsburys M W F 8 - 9am NHS, Elderly, etc
M & S M Th First hour Elderly etc
Tesco M W F 9 - 10 Elderly etc
Iceland M - S First hour Elderly etc
Food Warehouse M - S 8 - 9 Elderly
WaitrosedailyFirst hourElderly
AldiMon - Sat7.30 - 8Elderly

As far as I can see Lidl has no particular times for the elderly and vulnerable. If you get any information on can you please let me know.

  • There is an article in the Independent re which supermarkets have delivery slots available click on Supermarket Deliveries. This is worth reading through.


  • 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.
  • Cambridge University is running a Virtual Summer Festival, with a huge range of free talks on-line, including history, science, politics, literature, etc. Click on Cambridge for more information.
  • Violinist Daniel Hope is performing chamber music concerts from his living room in Berlin, with specially invited guests. Every day at 1800 (CTE) Click on Violin Concerts
  • The Globe Theatre is offering free shows - click on Globe Theatre
  • Jermyn Street Theatre are running a Brave New World Season with various events running on line. Check out Jermyn Street. The Sonnet Project - a daily performance of all 154 of Shakespeare's from actors ranging from Miriam Margolyes and David Suchet to rising start. There is also a daily evening cabaret.
  • The London Theatre Company are giving out information on their face book page regarding which plays and musicals are being streamed during the week. If anyone has any problems finding out where to look for any of these let me know (in plenty of time please)
  • 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 and scroll down, towards the bottom there is a paragraph saying "Learn more here", click on that to go to the programme.
  • Royal Albert Hall have a free streaming service presenting artists sharing their work from their homes to yours. Check Royal Albert Hall for their full programme
  • The Royal Mint Exhibition is going on line. For those who missed the trips to the Royal Mint you can now see it on line. Click on Royal Mint Exhibition
  • The Royal Opera House have a programme of opera and ballet online. Men at the Barre from 20 - 25 June, Romeo and Juliet 20 - 21 June, The Cellist 8 - 11 June, La Fille mal gardee 20 - 26 June, Krol Roger 13 June to 13 July and the Magic Flute 20 June to 3 July, Woolf Works from 26 June to 9 July and La Boheme from 3 - 16 July. Check our Royal Opera House
  • RSNO Scotland's National Orchestra have a challenge every week. You can join their musical community every Wednesday at 10.30 am on Face book or You Tube. Check out RSNO challenge
  • Sadler Wells - are using Facebook to stream a number of productions
  • Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra are putting out a daily 'dose' on You Tube. Click on TSO daily dose


  • Ashmolean Museum and the Oxford Times are running an art competition. Entries should show your creative response to a situation which has affected everyone and every aspect of our lives this year. They can be any type of visual artwork: painting, drawing, printmaking, computer aided design, textiles, photography, sculpture, video art or collage. The closing date for the competition is 5pm on Friday 31 July 2020. For more information click on Ashmolean
  • Eco Green Dragon Farm There has been interest in this charity since Irene's request for spare produce. You can check it out at Green Dragon Eco Farm On their website if you click on 'help us' you can find ways of helping them directly including a link to a wish list on Amazon of what the animals need should you want to help.
  • 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.
  • Caribu is a family friendly app that is for grandparents to see grandchildren and read books to, or with, them, colour in, cook and lots of other activities. The company is offering it free during the Covid-19 crisis. Just google Caribu. Recommended by Tricia Hazan
  • Keep Your Car Safe and in good condition during lockdown. Read up on how to do this at Keeping your car safe.
  • U3A South East Region Catch Up I have attached a copy of this Newsletter. South East
  • British Bird Songs For an alphabetical list of bird (257) and their songs go to Bird Songs
  • Age UK have some exercises aimed at our age group. Click on Exercise to access.
  • Mr Motivator has created a daily programme of exercises aimed specifically at U3A members. Click on Mr Motivator to view the week's sessions.
  • 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
  • The Red Lion at Kidlington are holding a virtual pub quiz every Thursday. It's on You Tube. Just search Virtual Pub Quiz.
  • Click on Chatterpack to get to a very comprehensive list of boredom-busting resources. I was impressed. If you get a message 'content can't be shown in a frame' click on 'open new page' then look at the list of free on line resources for anyone staying at home.
  • Rummikub - you can play on line with your friends. Google Rummikub on line. The App is free from the Apple Store.
  • For the musical amongst you Fender have made their online guitar course free. Click Fender Guitar
  • 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
  • Crowdless App An app which you can download which lets you know how long the queues are at each supermarket in your area. You may have seen it on tv. I have not used it so leave you to make your own mind up. Click on Crowdless
  • U3A Newsletter There is a new newsletter out full of useful and interesting information so don’t forget to sign up for it. To see a bite sized edition of the newsletter click on Newsletter Express. Previous newsletters are archived on the U3A website.
  • 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.


  • Pam Wakeling says if anyone isolated wants “a voice “to talk through anything she is available, daytime hours. Her phone number is on the membership card.
  • Sadie Reynolds says 'If anyone would like a photo copy via email of very simple exercises without going out I’d be happy to send to anyone'. Her phone number is on the members' card as she is the group leader of the Memory Recall Group.


  • Sadie would like to share one of her strategies for coping. She has made a list of all the outstanding things she's never had time to do before this crisis, like clearing out the shed, shredding or getting rid of old documentation, etc. etc. One activity a day brings a sense of achievement and brings some purpose to the days.
  • Janet Hartley has found some instructions on You Tube to make an effective face mask that requires no sewing. The filter is a fleece fabric. All can be washed and reused. If anyone is interested please let me know and I can pass your requests on to Janet.
  • There is a free delivery service for newspapers for a limited period. Search on 'deliver my newspaper' you should find the site which will give you all the details.
  • 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.