About Wallingford Piper

It all started back in the summer of 2008…

I was living in Leeds (first time mum to Ava born in March 2008), but was planning my move to Wallingford.  I began to search the internet for things to do with my new baby and found pockets of information all over the place, but nothing centralised.  Also, there was a very distinct lack of personal involvement, there were no “people”, rather lists, times of groups; static information.  So on arriving in Wallingford in November 2008 I began to hunt down people to befriend – I began throwing myself into groups and at people.  Some ran screaming, others were more tolerant of me and so friendships blossomed.

Somehow, between us, we needed somewhere to plan our social outings.  We did a lot with our kids, but my memory and ability to organise a diary were (and still are) pretty poor.  Facebook provided a springboard into online event organisation and management.  With a handful of friends, we developed a little group which was uncomplicated and undemanding.  Events were posted and people could pick and choose what they wanted to attend, in the knowledge that there would be a friendly face there.  Information on “A Week In Wallingford” was borne, where all the information about groups was centralised and slowly but surely we all got to know each other.

From there, the Wallingford Piper concept has grown and grown and now is morphing into something far better, far more useful… We have a splinter group on Facebook called “Piper Sales” which is proving hugely popular  for buying and selling as there are no fees involved.  The only thing we ask is for members to take responsibility for their own deals.  Of course we try and organise the obligatory “Mum’s Night Out” every now and then and we have a “Ladies Breakfast Club” which we hold monthly on a Sunday.  Last summer we had a “Piper Picnic in the Park” which we hope to hold again in 2012.  As daunting as it might seem, joining in with us couldn’t be easier.  We are a friendly bunch and there is always someone on hand for a coffe, or even if you just want to “meet” some people online before you venture to any of the Wallingford baby and toddler groups, that is fine too!

With the help of local mum Catherine (IndigoBird Web Design) the new Wallingford Piper website has come about.  We have no intention of removing the Facebook group because it works so well, but we realise that not everyone is on Facebook and we want to be completely accessible to the whole of Wallingford.  On here you can chat, find out what is going on locally and also become involved if you want.

The thing about Piper is that it was always intended to be a community led group.  There are plenty of parents out there who just want a springboard into organising their own events or taking charge of their own community area and we have had lots suggestions about how to develop Piper which have been really useful.  We are open to all ideas and are willing to give almost anything a go so if you have something you want to see or start, then get in touch!  Essentially, Piper is going to evolve to serve families in and around Wallingford – to create a supportive and friendly community and to bring local information to the forefront of our daily lives.

We have also decided to start “Piper Says…” articles where we invite local parents to write on a topic and then we will select the best ones to publish on the site – the articles will be about anything from local restaurant reviews to your experiences of weaning and potty training, so keep your eyes peeled and be sure to submit your letters!

If you are interested in getting involved or have any suggestions, please contact us. We would love to hear from you!