IT’S that time of the year again – the Newbury Weekly News Over 80s Christmas Parcel Fund has been launched.
The launch took place at Sainsbury’s on Monday in the presence of the Newbury mayor and mayoress, Julian Swift-Hook and Tessa Olson, Newbury Weekly News chairman Jeremy Willis and Jo Fulker, co-ordinator of the Parcel Fund.
Carol Irwin, store manager Rob Barnes and deputy store manager James Beisly from Sainsbury’s – without whose support the Parcel Fund would be an impossible task – were also present.
Every year since 1897, the Newbury Weekly News has been helping West Berkshire residents bring some festive cheer into the lives of their older neighbours, through the NWN Over 80s Christmas Parcel Fund.
The fund started out as the ‘Two T’s fund’, where tobacco and tea were given to some of oldest residents living in the House on the Hill, as it was then known in Newbury.
It was set up by Frank Stillman, a NWN reporter at the time but who went on to become the second editor.
The name may have changed and the contents of the parcels may be more varied, but the aim of the fund remains the same – to give our oldest citizens a seasonal gift from the community as a way of saying thank you to them for everything they have given in their lifetime.
The parcels go out to anyone aged over 80 living in Newbury, Thatcham or Hungerford and last year more than 2,100 parcels – each worth about £10 – were delivered.
This year the fundraising has already started and the buying of the food parcels is expected to leave the fund with another grocery bill of around £20,000.
This is, of course, where we need your help and the Newbury Weekly News is calling on all of West Berkshire’s generous individuals, schools, businesses and community groups to join in our fundraising events or to organise their own.
If you have any ideas for fundraising, contact Jo Fulker on jo.fulker@newburynews. co.uk so we can help to publicise all the events.
Alternatively, people can contribute to this worthy cause by sending us a cheque – which should be made payable to ‘NWN Over 80s’ Christmas Parcel Fund’ – and sent to our offices at Newspaper House, Faraday Road, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2DW.
Donations can also be made online through The Good Exchange, organised by Greenham Common Trust.
If your school has not yet signed up for this year’s NWN Over-80s Christmas Parcel Fund Junior Schools’ general knowledge quiz, do not fear, there is still time.
The quiz will be held on Tuesday, November 8, at Falkland Primary School.
For an entry fee of £10 for a team of four, Year 5 and 6 children have to the chance to compete for the Newbury Weekly News David Stephenson Quiz trophy.
If you are interested, contact Jo Fulker at the NWN.
n To add a name of a person over the age of 80 who lives in Newbury, Hungerford or Thatcham to our list, or to remove a name of someone who no longer requires a parcel, contact Jo Fulker on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone the office on (01635) 524111.