Romsey Opportunity Group

Walk the Test Way 2021

This year's Walk the Test Way organised by the Rotary Club of Romsey Test is able to go ahead based on the current Covid guidelines.  Registration is now open for the sponsored walk, which will take place on Sunday 26th September 2021. This year marks the 18th annual fundraiser! The walk is suitable and fun for all ages and abilities and you can choose how far you would like to walk from 5, 8, 11, 16 or 25.5 miles. Early bird registration is up to June 30th where entry for Adults is £11 and Under 18 is £2. After this date entry for Adults is £14 and Under 18 is £8.
Please visit Walk the Test Way more information.

Please put this date in your diary and let friends and family know. By signing up to walk you will help US to raise funds for ROG and the Rotary's own charitable activities.

ROG Events for your diary

ROG Summer 2021 Dates poster
Fundraising News
Good News - we are the chosen charity of The Original factory Shop in Romsey! Thank you all your votes. Smiley emoji

Please visit the shop in Romsey and sign up for a loyalty card, if you don’t already have one, as we raise 1p each time it is swiped and 5p each carrier bag. Spread the word everyone!

   Factory Shop Image
We need your help!
We are now going to be donating 1p to a local charity each time you swipe your club card in store.
We will also be donating 5p from the purchase of each carrier bag we sell.
We are therefore asking for suggestions of which charity we can support . We would be grateful if you could forward your suggestions to us so that we can begin supporting a local charity in our community 😁

ROG Update:

As of Tuesday 20th April 2021 we are welcoming back current children and their families back to the Group.

We're back

ROG Christmas Celebrations

Christmas 2021 sessions  

Although we knew that Christmas parties would not be the same this year, we decided to open up for 2 sessions and make them as much fun as possible. It was great to see most of our families and staff especially Mavis and we presented Liz with flowers to thank her for all the music videos which are now on the Facebook group.  Father Christmas brought us a sack of presents each morning which the children found very exciting even if he did stay outside!    

                   Christmas Jumper Day   Christmas Jumper Day

Romsey Opportunity Group once again took part in Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day. In fact, we were extra special as we held two Christmas Jumper Days Tuesday 8th & Thursday 10th December! We raised a grand total of £42.00 for Save the Children so thank you for taking part and supporting this fun way of raising money for an excellent cause.

ROG statement - Monday 4th January 2021

Once again Romsey Opportunity Group have had to suspend sessions at the Appletree Centre on a Tuesday and Thursday 9am-1.30pm until further notice due to the new National Lockdown and increasing numbers locally testing positive for Covid-19. Many of our volunteers, staff and children that attend ROG are in the extremely vulnerable or vulnerable category so for everyone's safety we will remain closed.

Please do visit this page regularly for updates of what is happening at the Group during Lockdown.

For the meantime please stay safe and well and we look forward to being able to let you know when we can reopen sessions once again.

Notice of Annual General Meeting!

Romsey Opportunity Group will be holding our virtual AGM via Zoom on Tuesday 26th January 2021 with a start time of 10.15am and you will be able to log-in from 10.00am. Those interested in attending this AGM will receive a Zoom link by email sent the day before. Please visit our Meetings page for important documents related to our AGM.

We would be delighted for as many of you as possible to join this Zoom event.

Great News!!
Santa Claus                                                        Christmas tree

ROG is opening for two sessions on
Tuesday 8th December and Thursday 10th December, during which we’ll do the usual Christmas activities. We will be taking part in Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day on both days so please wear your festive knits and join in the fun.

Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day

For the past couple of years ROG have celebrated Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day and this year is no different. We are encouraging children, parents and volunteers to don their festive knits and help raise money to support a great cause.

To make donating easier and safer this year we've set up our own Just Giving page. You can donate directly here: Please note, JustGiving only accepts a minimum donation of £2. Therefore, if your donation is less than £2 you can:

• Donate via Save the Children’s website at Please use Romsey Opportunity Group’s reference number CJD200008183 on any donation made.
• Bring in cash

Even if you can’t attend you can still take part at home, work or school. It would be nice if you could email us a photo of your efforts.

                  temporarily closed

The Trustees and Lyn met on Zoom on Monday evening to discuss the consequences of the current lockdown.  We are particularly concerned about the risks to our staff and volunteers at the current time.  The Trustees have decided that, in the interests of everybody associated with the group (staff, volunteers, parents and children), we must suspend sessions at the Appletree Centre for at least the four weeks of lockdown.  Whether we reopen thereafter will be dependent upon the government's decision on any continuing restrictions for the local area once lockdown finishes.  

Dick Hewett
on behalf of Trustees, Romsey Opportunity Group

ROG Re-Opening!!

Great News!! Romsey Opportunity Group are welcoming children & their parents back to the Appletree Centre from Tuesday 13th October 2020. A lot of time and hard work has gone into being able to get to this stage.

Preparing the Appletree Centre
Our team of workers tidying up the Appletree Centre building & grounds.

Staff & Volunteer training
Our team of dedicated staff, trustees and volunteers attending training to be able to return safely to the Appletree Centre.

Some memories of Lockdown

ROG Memories
(From left to right top to bottom)

A thumbs up from our wonderful staff and volunteers, Caroline with story time, Celebrating Mother's Day, Our end of term on-line party celebration, Masks for all adult members of the Group, Sunflower seeds for all Group members, Lyn thanking Caroline for her wonderful fundraising during Lockdown, Dick our treasurer also getting in on the fundraising act, Carol & Lyn on-line work meeting, Lizzie with her music videos, Sue our lovely trustee and volunteer out and about on her bike with her welcome visits and deliveries and last but no means least Mavis with her nursery rhyme videos.

How ROG is coping during lockdown

At this time of sessions being closed we are learning different ways of supporting each other. Many of our children are in the shielding catagory and families are feeling even more isolated than usual. We are keeping touch and are amazed at their resilience finding ways to keep the children engaged by sharing resources.

Carol and Lyn have been meeting up via video and sending information and ideas to our families and they have sent back such lovely photos their children doing various activities. The volunteers are missing them but it’s fantastic to see their smiling faces. We are so thankful for social media to support each other at this difficult time.

Work meeting Finger painting Cereal fun Drawing fun

Sand fun Makaton fun                    Mother's day card

Coronavirus Update

We have closed our sessions at the Appletree centre. We are all really sorry but feel this is safest for our vulnerable children and volunteers. I hope we can continue to support each other through this period of uncertanity.

Take care and keep washing hands as often as you can. Below is some useful information. Feel free to save, share and print off.

Covid19       Covid19

Camelot the Pantomime

Camelot the panto

Families who attend Romsey Opportunity Group were offered two free tickets for the dress rehearsal of Camelot on Thursday 9th January at 7.30pm and/or the relaxed performance on Sunday 19th January at 11am at the Plaza theatre. Also a few families who have attended ROG in the past came along.


A great time was had by all who attended, it truly was a fantastic pantomime with a lovely story and plenty of audience participation. The relaxed performance was appreciated by even our youngest children, especially the use of Makaton and no loud bangs!


Our very own music lady Liz Bailey was part of the cast and she was so pleased to see the children and their parents having a great time.


Thank you to Maggie Blake who invited ROG to the dress rehearsal and to our wonderful trustees who agreed to cover the cost of two tickets for each family currently attending ROG. In all 18 people enjoyed the pantomime with ROG covering the cost of 10 tickets.

ROG Christmas Party & Christmas Rainbow Day @ Melchet Court

Father Christmas   Music time  Child with FC

Melchet Court     Melchet Court Two

Here are some photos from Christmas 2019. Thank you to those who support us and enable the children to enjoy these special events.

Save the Children Christmas Jumper Day

On Tuesday 10th & Thursday 12th December 2019 volunteers, staff and children paid £2.00 to take part in ROG Christmas Jumper Days with all money raised going to Save the Children. A grand total of £18.85 was collected. Thank you to everyone who took part.

Romsey Charities Christmas Fair 2019

On Saturday 16th November 2019. ROG had a stall at this much looked forward to annual event selling homemade Appletree chutney, new jewellery and new Christmas gifts. Also, there was an opportunity to ‘Name the Teddy’. Thank you to all who donated items and who helped in any way on the lead up and on the actual day.

A 'Hint of Vintage' Fundraising Event


Thank you to everyone who supported Romsey Opportunity Group's 'A Hint of Vintage' event at Crosfield Hall, Romsey on Saturday 21st September 2019. With your help we raised approximately £1,911!

Folklights Concert




Despite it being held in the half-term holiday, the last session of "Folklights" was very well attended. In fact it was packed out and an incredible £450 was raised on the night for ROG!

It was a brilliant evening featuring Darren Black, a talented singer-songwriter and musician from Winchester and as usual "Beggars Belief" were an outstanding highlight. (Look out for their CD)

As many of you will know Pete and Ali, the organisers of the sessions, have donated considerable sums of money to ROG over the years. We are extremely grateful to them.

Mavis presented Pete and Ali with a special "Appletree Tree Thank You Card" made by the children, with a lovely message from Lyn inside. A beautiful bunch of tulips was given too. We hope that Pete and Ali will pop into the Group and we will certainly keep in touch.

Despite it being the "final" performance and the natural sadness felt about that, many of the regulars hope the hint of other one-off concerts will happen.

Meanwhile we wish Pete and Ali continued success in all they do and we hope to see them in and around the Romsey Music Festival & The Beggars Fair in July.

Finally we would like to say again;-

"THANK YOU PETE and ALI for all you have done for us over the years. Your support has been AMAZING!"

Safeguarding training

Safeguarding Children

In January this year two members of staff and two trustees undertook Level 2 Safeguarding and Protecting Children and Young Adults training. This one day course was very informative and will enable us to update our Safeguarding policy. The training from this day will be relayed to all volunteers, staff and trustees.

Grand Train Opening

Men's Shed Train Opening

Romsey Opportunity Group were pleased to welcome the Mayor of Romsey Cllr Dorothy Baverstock and members of Romsey Men's Shed on Thursday 29th November 2018. During the visit Cllr Baverstock declared open the newly renovated Outdoor Play area train. The children can now look forward to enjoying the restored play facility. We give our heartfelt thanks to everyone involved in the project.

Romsey Charities Christmas Fair

Romsey Charities Christmas Fair     Romsey Charities Christmas Fair

On Saturday 17th November Romsey Opportunity Group had a stall at the Romsey Charities Christmas Fair which is held at Crosfield Hall on an annual basis. Thank you to everyone who donated items for our stall and to our helpers on the day. We raised £127.05 in total.

November 2018 Visit to ROG

Immediate Test Valley past mayor presentation
                      to ROG

Councillor Carl Borg-Neal, Immediate Past Mayor of Test Valley, visited Romsey Opportunity Group. He spent over an hour talking to the children, parents and volunteers. The Group was pleased to receive a cheque for £1,900 from him.

Walk the Test Way 2018
                Fisher - Walk the Test Way
Our wonderful volunteer and Trustee Sue Fisher, braved the elements and walked 5 miles for Romsey Family Support Group.Thank you to Sue for giving up part of your Sunday to raise money for ROG. Sue managed to collect a fantastic £102 in sponsorship money which has now been sent to the Rotary Club of Romsey Test. ROG should receive 75% of the money raised by Sue with the remaining 25% used to support the Rotary Club of Romsey Test charitable giving. Thank you also to everyone at Rotary Club of Romsey Test for continuing to host this excellent event and opportunity to enable local charities to raise funds.

Vintage Fair & Vintage Afternoon Tea
Well it may have been the wettest Saturday in October but over 250 people came through the Crosfield Hall doors, with 15 or so stalls, choirs and jive exhibitions to keep everyone entertained. £350 was taken at the cafe providing delicious refreshments for all. With the efforts of Liz Bailey, Ruth Martin & Sue Fisher plus partners, family and friends, bu 4.00pm the Hall was transformed into a 1950's Tea Party for 100 people including a celebration for a very special lady Rita who was 100 years old. With the entertainment & plentifuul plates of cakes & sandwiches, a good time was had by all and to top it off over £2,500 was raised throughout the day.

Train Repairs
The local "Romsey Men's Shed" have been very busy over the Summer term months, refurbishing and rebuilding our wooden train in the playground so it is now safe to play on once again. They have done an excellent job. A huge thank you to them all. Ruth Martin has also managed to get some new signs for our train and an opening and thank you ceremony is being planned to take place soon with Men's Shed, Volunteers, ROG staff, children, families & trustees in attendance plus a special guest to cut the ribbon.

Music on the Test
This year's Music on the Test went ahead despite the pouring rain the deterred several people from attending, for the few who braved the weather, it was a very enjoyable event. Volunteer Sue Jones attended with her husband Julian. There was a huge marquee to shelter the bands and audience from the rain. Entertainment included music from the Michelmersh Silver Band & Test Valley Brass. Sue said the afternoon had a very British feel to it with plenty of flag waving and lots of families in attendance. Romsey Opportunity Group received a fantastic £300 from ticket sales. Thank you to everyone who shared details of this wonderful afternoon, attended and/or brought tickets.

Thank you!!

Thank you as ever to Edward and Jenny Jewell who once again hosted their Garden opening and Grand Agapanthus sale on the weekend of Saturday 14th & Sunday 15th July 2018. This year was quieter than in previous years probably due to the lovely beach suitable weather and the World Cup football. However, people still supported this wonderful much looked forward to event and Romsey Opportunity Group have received a fantastic cheque for £600. Thank you to everyone who went along and supported this event.

Romsey Mayors Picnic

Mayors Picnic 2018 stall    Silent
                    Auction Go-Cart
Romsey Opportunity Group had a stall at this years Mayors Picnic held on Sunday 1st July 2018 in the Romsey Memorial Park. Our stall had cake, books, nearly new toys, nursery items, bubbles, animal masks, helium balloons and handmade greeting cards for sale. Plus childrens crafts activities, a teddy tombola, name the teddy and a silent auction for a go cart. Thank you so much to everyone who donated to the stall, helped on the day by either setting up, helping to run the stall and/or packing away at the end of the day. Also thank you to those who popped by our stall and said hello. It was so lovely to see current and past children and to top the day off we raised a very respectable £228.27.

Romsey Charities Christmas Fair


On Saturday 18th December 2017, Romsey Opportunity Group once again had a stall at the annual Romsey Charities Christmas Fair held at Crosfield Hall in Romsey. Thank you to the volunteers and staff who gave up their Saturday to run the stall and to everyone who donated gifts to sell and especially to Sue Fisher for making her popular homemade Apple Chutney. Thank you also to everyone who brought items from our stall helping us to raise a respectable £81.51 and hopefully an opportunity to promote Romsey Opportunity Group in the local community at such a enjoyable, well organised event.  

Walk the Test Way 2017

Our very own ROG Volunteer and Trustee Sue Fisher took part in this years Walk the Test Way on Sunday 8th October. Walking 5 miles from Motisfont Church back to Romsey Memorial Park. Thank you so much to Sue for taking the time to walk on behalf of ROG.

Emergency Paediatric First Aid

On the last day of the Summer term 11 volunteers and staff were presented with certificates in Emergeny Paediatric First Aid. The one day course, over 6 hours, took place on Tuesday 4th July 2017 at the Appletree Centre. The course was tutored by Certified trainer Stella Swindells RN RM RHV from The First Aid Zone. The course was easy to understand, very informative and demonstrations of CPR and the recovery position were shown. These certificates are valid for 3 years with an option of a yearly update if required.

Agapanthus Weekend & Open Garden - Saturday 23rd & Sunday 24th July 2017
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who went along and supported Edward and Jenny Jewell's Garden Opening & Grand Agapanthus sale despite the wet weather. More than 250 people attended and raised £2,000 to be shared between Romsey Opportunity Group and George's Trust!!

Saturday 6th May 2017 - ROG Fundraising Day/Evening @ Crosfield Hall

We would like to say a very BIG thank you to everyone who helped in any way, either in the lead up to the event or on the day itself.

It was greatly appreciated and ensured the event was a success.


Thank you to everyone who…………

·       Brought raffle tickets

·       Donated prizes for the raffle / silent auction

·       Purchased tickets for the evening quiz/fish n’ chip supper

·       Attended the charity table-top sale


Also thank you to the Mayor of Test Valley Councillor Karen Hamilton for allowing free use of the Crosfield Hall to enable this event to take place.


We had several donations during the day and evening including an amazing £2,700 donated by the Winchester Ladies Circle! Thanks to Sue Fisher for getting them involved. Thank you also to Romsey Ukelele Group who gave us a cheque for £200.


We really appreciated all the choirs and musicians who were very generous in giving their time etc. It was a wonderful, very productive day for our Group and everyone enjoyed themselves.


We have made just over £1,500 net (after expenses for Fish n’ Chips) once remaining payments for tickets and silent auction have been received - a commendable effort. The morning raised £549, and the evening raised almost double that.

                              Bishops Blaize Annual Charity Cycle Ride 2017


The Bishops Blaize pub in Romsey joined up with the Romsey Old Cadets for a cycling fundraising weekend (28th, 29th & 30th April) and the best news is Romsey Opportunity Group were the Bishops Blaize's nominated charity.

The event itself started outside Barclays Bank in the Cornmarket at 5pm on Friday 28th with the Romsey Old Cadets, cycling non stop in relays, the equivalent distance of Lands End to John O'Groats on static bikes through to Sunday 30th at 9am when they joined the rest of the cyclists around a 15 mile course stopping at various pubs on route headed by Wayne (Landlord of the Bishops Blaize)

At around 4.30pm all the cyclists, families and supporters gatthered at The Star (nr Horsefair Mews) and marched back to the Bishops Blaize for a well deserved rest followed by a BBQ, a raffle, musical entertainment and dancing.

To date £1500.00 has been raised to be split between the Romsey Old Cadets and Romsey Opportunity Group with money still coming in!! We would like to say a huge thank you to Wayne and Paula from the Bishops Blaize, the Romsey Old Cadets, all the cyclists taking part and anyone else who supported or helped in someway over this fundraising weekend. 


£700 Donation received - Thank you

On Tuesday 7th March 2017 Mavis attended the Romsey, Chandlers Ford and District Round Table Presentation evening held at Crosfield Hall. It was a very informative evening learning about the other charities who also received funds. We would like to thank everyone at the Romsey, Chandlers Ford & District Round Table for thinking of our Group and for all of their hard work in raising this money.

Romsey Charities Christmas Fair

Thank you to everyone who helped in whatever way, whether it was by donating prizes for the raffle, selling raffle tickets, setting up and packing away or manning the stall. Thank you especially to Sue Fisher for the jars of homemade apple chutney. We raised a grand total of £120.30 and Lyn also collected a cheque to the value of £230 from Romsey Ukelele Band who chose ROG as their nominated charity.

Romsey Mayors Picnic

Romsey Opportunity Group had a stall at the Romsey Town Mayors Picnic held in the Memorial Park on Sunday 3rd July 2016. Thank you to Lyn and Anna for setting up, staying all day and packing away at the end of the day. Thank you to Kerry for your generous help and superb cakes and also to Amber, Mandy and Sue
                                              for your culinary delights

Thank you to Kate for your help in the afternoon. Luckily the weather stayed dry and we even saw some sun! It was lovely to catch up with past parents and see our current parents. Also thank you to Sarah for the storage of our items for sale.

Crosfield Hall Fundraising Day

Thank you to Everyone!!


Romsey Opportunity Group held a successful Fun and Fundraising day at Crosfield Hall, Romsey on Saturday 23rd April 2016 raising just over £1,270!


We were granted a ‘free let’ of the hall by the Mayor of Test Valley, Cllr Iris Anderson who then purchased tickets and came along to our Bingo/Quiz and Fish and Chip Supper in the evening.


The Fish and Chips supplied by "Goodies" were wonderful!! And our bingo and quiz sessions were great fun.


The daytime event was opened by the Town Mayor of Romsey, Cllr Dorothy Baverstock who had to sprint across the Town in record time to open our event on time. Anyone who was in Romsey that morning will know what a nightmare parking was!!

Our 2016 Romsey Carnival Queen Naomi Reading eagerly accepted our invitation to come along to our daytime event and it was so lovely that she could spend time with our children in the Children’s activities corner.

We were very grateful to these very busy people for the time they took to be us and to speak to our volunteers and stallholders.

One of the highlights of the morning was the appearance of The Ukulele band played with great gusto

We had a lovely selection of Charity Stalls, wonderful cakes, toys, books and bric-a-brac for sale.

We had help before, during and after the event from Staff, Volunteers, Parents - past and present,

Friends, Trustees and last but not least CHILDREN our star helpers! We offer our grateful thanks to all who came along to support us and for all those who donated items, etc. Thank you also to our impromptu photographer Alexander Rowsell whose mother was in the Ukuele band. I am sure you will agree he took some great photos.

Donation Received

On Friday 26th February 2016, Dick Hewett, treasurer of Romsey Opportunity Group attended a presentation evening organised by the Romsey, Chandlers Ford & District Round Table at Crosfield Hall, Romsey. Dick collected a cheque for £300 to support the continuing work of the Group. Thank you very much to everyone involved in securing this donation.

Folklights @ The Lantern

On Thursday 18th February 2016 had Anna Baker and Lyn Bird had a throughly enjoyable evening attending the Folklights evening at The Lantern Theatre, Mountbatten School in Romsey. The evening included four young musicans from Southampton's urban jungle, collectively known as Monkey See MonkeyDo, followed by singer, songwriter and guitarist Alex Roberts (Pictured left). Profits raised go to Romsey Opportunity Group

Special Guest - Pudsey Bear!

On Tuesday 10th November 2015 we had a very special guest visit us at Romsey Opportunity Group. Pudsey Bear made an appearance at the Group session to meet all the children, their parents/carers and volunteers and present us with our cheque for £10,000 from Children In Need.

Excellent News - Santander

Presentation of the cheque from Santander on the evening of our AGM on Monday 9th November 2015
From L-R Helen Rogers, Sue Geraghty and Maggie Poland

Thanks to Sue Geraghty's persistance Romsey Opportunity Group has been awarded a Community Plus Grant of £4,800 from the Santander Foundation to fund our dedicated creche with voluntary play worker for each special needs child at the Opportunity Group to allow parents and carers respite whilst their child is cared for and to aid development through targeted play and support.

Saturday 7th November 2015 - Christmas Charities Fair Thank you

A BIG "THANK YOU" to everyone who donated gifts or gave up their time to help at the "Romsey Charities" Christmas Fair

We were delighted with the quality and the amount of lovely donations for the stall.

People have been very generous.

We were pleased to have so many helpers on the day, which meant we could have a quiet lunch break and a look around the other stalls. (Thank you for doing the rota CAROL and Thanks to LYN for covering the Lunch-time gap).

As always it was a lovely, friendly event.

We raised £222.33 on the day!!

*There should be a further £20 coming to the Group in January 2016 from the Charities Fair Committee*

There are some items left which we may sell at the Group or put towards at our end of Term raffle.

Written on behalf of Anna and Mavis