The Friends of Blockley School is a group of parents whose aim is to raise much needed additional funds to support projects and events where there are real benefits derived for all the children. We arrange a series of fundraising events throughout the school year. We encourage participation from the children and their parents to ensure that the events are successful, at the same time as providing a fun and entertaining programme which complements school life.
Contact Friends of the School Chair: email@example.com
Gingerbread Trail and Prize Draw
Have you spotted any Gingerbread characters around Blockley?
Blockley Friends of the School (FOS), with the help of the community, have created a Festive Gingerbread Trail and Prize Draw which runs from 12th December 2020 to 2nd January 2021.
You can download the Trail Walk map and donate by visiting our JustGiving page here.
FOS Chair Clare Turner says “We’re really excited about bringing the community together at the end of a tough year and raising some much-needed funds for Blockley School and Cotswold Friends. We hope that everyone enjoys a festive walk but know that December can be a challenging time for many people living on their own, particularly in isolated rural communities. This may be accentuated by the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions this year so FOS wanted to work with a local charity who do a fantastic job of tackling loneliness and supporting the vulnerable all year round: Cotswold Friends. It’s a great opportunity for the children to learn about the importance of community and to demonstrate some of the school’s values such as compassion and generosity. And to top it off there is the chance to win a hamper of goodies!”
Friends of the School’s share of the proceeds from the Festive Gingerbread Trail will help fund an outdoor learning zone at Blockley School; a sheltered outdoor space within the school grounds, which can be used as a classroom or for exercise/recreation in a range of weather conditions. The outdoor learning area is going to be an important asset for the school in the coming months and beyond. The project has been generously supported by Blockley Parish Council, Blockley Educational Trust and Bourton-on-the-Hill Educational Trust but we still need to raise over £2,000 to cover the balance.
Cotswold Friends supports older and vulnerable people across the North Cotswolds, reducing isolation and supporting independent living. They can help with Community Transport, Befriending, Carer Support and Community Activities
How does the Blockley Festive Gingerbread Trail work?
Follow the trail map and collect the answers to the puzzle at any time from 12th December 2020 to 2nd January 2021.
Each location marked on the map will have a unique festive display. This might be wintery windows, decorated doors, glittering gates, festive fences or glowing gardens. If you would like to enter the prize draw then keep a lookout for gingerbread men holding candy cane letters of the alphabet dotted around the village (and which are shown on the map). The letters can be rearranged to spell out a phrase that you need to enter the draw. Hint: See the back of the map for a clue!
Most of the displays will be visible by both day and night but some include lighting and will be at their best after dark. In addition, every location will display a Blockley gingerbread man sign. There are more gingerbread signs displayed throughout the village too (not marked on the map) for you to try and spot as you walk around. Watch out for a photo opportunity at the bus-stop, 6ft illuminated gingerbread men in the Church yard and ice-skating figures at the school amongst others!
How do I get a map and donate?
Visit our JustGiving page here to donate and download, or call into Blockley Village Shop to leave a donation and pick up a copy of the map. We really appreciate your support and suggest a minimum donation of £1 per person. Every little helps and we would be delighted to receive each and every donation. If you love the trail as much as we do please donate what you can and share the fundraising link with friends and family.
How long will the trail take?
There is no set route for the trail so you can tailor your walk to suit you. We estimate it would take an adult around 1.5 hours to view all the sights marked on the map at a relaxed walking pace. Families with younger children might like to allow 2 -4 hours to see it all but you can easily adapt the route to suit your needs. The letters needed to solve the puzzle are intentionally located more centrally to allow those on shorter walks to participate still; see the map for details.
How do I enter the draw to win a hamper of treats?
Complete the puzzle and hand in your sheets to the Blockley Village Shop by 5pm on the 7th January 2021 to be entered into the Prize Draw. Don’t forget to include a name and contact details so we can get in touch if you are our lucky winner. The draw will take place on 8th January 2021.
What else do I need to know about the trail?
Always follow the latest government guidelines relating to COVID-19. The event takes place in a natural environment over which we have no control, with passing traffic and variable lighting and weather conditions; please walk responsibly with due care and attention, as you would on any other occasion. You may like to consider the following:
- Wearing sensible footwear suited to walking outdoors and clothing suitable for the season.
- Checking the weather conditions: make decisions that consider any weather warnings. The trail takes place in December and January when icy conditions could make paths and roads slippery.
- Bringing a torch if walking at dusk or later, but please respect residents and do not shine your lights directly into anyone’s home.
- Road safety. Blockley is a rural village but normal levels of traffic will be moving in and around Blockley during the Trail.
- Don’t forget to bring a pen to note down the puzzle answers.
How accessible is the trail?
The route to view all the gingerbread properties mainly follows pavements and sealed footpaths. Sometimes these are narrow and on occasion pushchairs/mobility scooters etc may need to use the road, for example to navigate parked vehicles. In some areas the footpaths are uneven and being a rural village not all paths have street lighting. Some sections of the village have no footpath. Much of the trail could be viewed from a vehicle but we encourage active travel wherever possible. Please get in touch with Clare at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information about accessibility or to discuss specific needs.
Are there any public toilets?
In addition to the customer toilets of The Crown Hotel and the Great Western Arms, there are public toilets located outside the village shop and café (near the Church) during café/shop opening hours.
Is there anywhere to get refreshments?
There are four fantastic options for grabbing something delicious to eat or drink in Blockley. Please check directly with the businesses for the latest opening hours and arrangements, as Covid-19 rules may influence how and when they can operate, at the time of your visit.
The Great Western Arms
The Crown Hotel
I’ve heard about an Advent trail in Blockley, is this the same thing?
Blockley Church have enlisted the help of the community to create a ‘Living Advent Calendar’: a community art project where one window is ‘opened’ each day from the 1st to the 24th December and all the windows are illuminated each evening until twelfth night, 6 January. Like the gingerbread trail, the idea is to have fun and bring the community together. You can pick up a copy of the Advent Trail map at Blockley Village Shop.
Is there still time to be part of the trail and/ or display a gingerbread man?
Yes! If you live in Blockley, we’d be delighted for you to join in and display a gingerbread man sign and/or festive decorations (you won’t appear on the published map).
If you live outside Blockley you can either put up our ‘proud to support Blockley Festive Gingerbread Trail’ poster or create something for us to display within Blockley.
Please email Clare at Blockleyfoschair@gmail.com to for more info.
What else can I do to support Blockley Friends of the School and Cotswold Friends?
Cotswold Friends would be delighted to hear from anyone interested in volunteering in any of the varied roles available. You can find out more here.
There are plenty of other ways to support the school too:
- Tell your friends and family about the Trail and share our fundraising link.
- Buy a £1 raffle ticket for the chance to win £100 cash (kindly sponsored by FOSSEWAY BUSINESS PARK, Moreton-in-Marsh) in the draw on 14th
- Sign up to Easyfundraising and raise funds for school at no extra cost to you when you shop online https://www.easyfundraising.org.uk
- Sign up to play Your School Lottery and raise funds year round while being in with a chance of winning https://www.yourschoollottery.co.uk/
- Or contact Clare at email@example.com if you have a fundraising idea or would like to support the school in other ways.