Everything OkehamptonEverything Okehampton

What we do

CHRISTMAS TREES AND LIGHTS

Okehampton’s Christmas lights display is envied throughout Devon and beyond, with visitors and locals alike experiencing the ‘wow factor’ as they approach the town centre from every direction!

This is no surprise considering there are over 100 real Christmas trees, each individually lit with strings of classic multicolour light bulbs, plus commercial LED cross-street and column-mount decorations throughout the town centre.

The Chamber of Trade are responsible for organising this display, and in particular Mr Donald Rooke and his team of volunteers, who help to hang decorations, put light strings on all the trees, climb up and down ladders, carry trees all around the town to where they’ll be secured, and basically make it all happen.

Funding is jointly provided by the Chamber of Trade, donations from many of the town’s businesses, grants from Okehampton Town Council, Okehampton Hamlets Council and Okehampton United Charities, plus kind donations from private residents and visitors and proceeds from the annual Christmas Lights Draw. All of whom are rightly very proud of the town’s festive decoration.

HANGING BASKETS

During the summer months, over 80 hanging baskets full of flowers bring lots of colour to the town centre. These are organised by the Chamber of Trade and joint funded from the same ‘pot’ as the Christmas lights.

A few volunteers led by Donald Rooke water the majority of the hanging baskets throughout the season, with less than half a dozen individual businesses watering their own.

EDWARDIAN EVENING

On the first Thursday in December, Okehampton comes alive with festive cheer as the ever popular annual late-night shopping event takes place in the town centre.

The event is organised by the Chamber of Trade, and as well as local businesses opening late to greet both their loyal and new customers, Edwardian Evening features the Mayor’s Carol Service accompanied by the Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band, Reindeer in Red Lion Yard, Santa often pays the Museum of Dartmoor Life a visit to meet local and visiting children, a Hog Roast by Martins butchers, Roasted Chestnuts and a huge Barrel Organ playing festive tunes.

Okehampton Festival of Food and Music Logo

OKEHAMPTON FESTIVAL OF FOOD & MUSIC

The new annual event that’s growing every year.

Previous years festivals have brought a wide range of local food & drink producers and street food vendors to the town: Authentic Spanish cuisine from the Basque region, Pizzas freshly made and cooked in a wood-fired clay oven, local Gourmet burgers cooked fresh on a BBQ, Real Ale brewed on Dartmoor, Handmade chocolates made from Goat’s milk, Devon Cream Teas served by Okehampton’s Victorian Tea Room and so much more.

Music of many different genres have filled the air at venues across the town: Wren Music’s Roots A Capella singers, West Devon Folk Choir, Okehampton Excelsior Silver Band, Jazz duo “One Point Five” and Tinners Morris Dancers have all made appearances. Okehampton Acoustic Club also brought a diverse range of musicians together included TOR BELLS – a family handbell team from Okehampton, TROUBADOUR’S GARDEN – acoustic duo, THE STRANGE & THE BEAUTIFUL – full band with soulful female singer, ELAINE LIGHTFOOT – vocalist and songwriter, and MY BLACK HAT – a Ragtime and Country Blues band working throughout the South West.

See the Events page here: http://everythingokehampton.co.uk/okehampton-events/ to find out about this years Okehampton Festival of Food & Music.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

Small Business Saturday is a grass-roots campaign that encourages people to support small businesses in their communities, both on the Saturday itself and beyond. The campaign also aims to support, inspire and promote small business all year round. The initiative started in 2010 in the US and has generated a lot of custom for small businesses, with the UK campaign launched in 2013. Small businesses in the UK provide almost two thirds of private sector employment and almost half of private sector turnover.

Okehampton & District Chamber of Trade embraced this national campaign from its inaugural year, encouraging its members to get involved by doing or offering something special on this one day, and by promoting these businesses and offers in print and social media.

The second year brought a well-attended business to business event at the local business park, organised by Virtual PA and Chamber member Chris Heron in partnership with West Devon Business Information Point. While in the town centre the “Shop Small” campaign was strongly represented by most of the shops and cafes. Okehampton Town Council supported the cause by providing free car parking at its Simmons Park car park for the day.

Each year more and more people learn about Small Business Saturday, what it’s for and what’s happening locally, and the list of local authorities who grant free car parking in support of small businesses on this one special day of the year continues to grow each year.

OKEHAMPTON LIVING

Okehampton Living is a glossy, full colour, lifestyle and local interest magazine with a quarterly print run of over 5,500 copies. It is delivered to most of the homes in Okehampton by local youth/community groups, available from Waitrose, Donalds Menswear and other outlets in the town, and distributed to local accommodation providers and to the towns surrounding villages etc.

Chamber members receive a generous discount on advertising in the magazine, and interesting content and articles are always welcomed by Ian Bailey at Ink Print.

SHOP WATCH SCHEME

This telephone cascade system is organised jointly by the Chamber of Trade and Okehampton Police.

Any information about an incident or threat to a scheme member business, can be quickly circulated to all other members and reported to the police as and when required.

The system means help can be requested from a nearby business, others can be warned of potential issues, and it can help in the prevention of and fight against crime.

Shopping Map of Okehampton

THE USEFUL SHOPPING GUIDE OF OKEHAMPTON

This Chamber of Trade published FREE map has a regular print run of 10,000 copies that are distributed to the local Tourist Information service, hotels, B&B’s and campsites in the surrounding area.

Businesses have a good advertising presence on the reverse, each of which are highlighted on the large map on the front, along with local attractions and places of interest.

Chamber members enjoy discounted rates for advertising on this publication.

Why Join the Chamber?

Discounted Advertising

Member only discounts on advertising in Okehampton Living magazine, Oke Links, The Useful Shopping Guide of Okehampton and other Chamber publications.

Local Support

Opportunity to show support of the town and district in which you live and/or make your living, promoting its prosperity and being a part of your local business community.

Presentations

Talks on business matters by local business people.

Digital Marketing

Free premium business listing for current members on the new ‘everythingOkehampton.co.uk’ website, discounted advertising options, guest blog opportunities etc.

Business Networking

Meet with fellow members, share business knowledge and interests, strengthen current business relationships and establish new ones.

Meetings

The right to attend monthly full Chamber meetings, share views and ideas, discuss matters affecting your business and play an active role in developing the economy of the area.

Training Courses / Workshops

Free or discounted courses aimed at improving and growing your business.

Social Marketing

Regular mentions on the social media channels linked to the new website.

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Cheques: Please make cheques payable to Okehampton & District Chamber of Trade and deliver to Donalds Menswear, Fore Street, Okehampton

Cash: Please hand deliver cash payment to Donalds Menswear, Fore Street, Okehampton

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CHAMBER PERSONNEL

Officers

Chairman: Linda Harper (Harper’s Accounting)

Vice Chairman: Lyn Evans (Swifts Property Services)

Treasurer: Caroline Mott

Media Secretary: Matt Welvaert (Lean Marketing)

Committee

Michelle Flexman (Private Member)

Christine Marsh (Private Member)

Brendan Ali (Nimo Events)

Simon Lassam (Think Write Design)

Donna Tombs & Garry Yeoman (The Wooly Beader)