Tue, 24 Oct 2017
WITH Christmas fast approaching, the Newbury Weekly News has officially launched its annual Over-80s Parcel Fund.
The fund started out in the late 1800s as the ‘Two Ts fund’, and was set up by Frank Stillman, a reporter at the time, who went on to become the second editor of the paper.
The aim in those days was to give a Christmas gift of tobacco and tea to some of Newbury’s oldest residents, many of whom lived in the workhouse, known as the House on the Hill.
More than 100 years on, the name has changed and the contents of the parcels have certainly changed, but even today the aim of the fund remains the same – to give older residents a seasonal gift as a way of saying thank you from the community for all they have done during their lifetime.
The parcels go out to anyone aged over 80 living in Newbury, Thatcham or Hungerford.
Last year the NWN delivered more than 2,100 parcels, worth about £10 each.
This year’s parcel fund was launched at the Sainsbury’s store in Hector’s Way, Newbury, last week.
The mayor and mayoress of Newbury, David and Marion Fenn, attended, together with Sainsbury’s store manager Rich Morris, deputy store manager James Beisly and PR ambassador Carol Irwin.
NWN chairman Jeremy Willis, editor Andy Murrill and Over-80s Parcel Fund co-ordinator Joanne Fulker also lent a helping hand.
Sainsbury’s has this year agreed to let the NWN buy the food and help co-ordinate the parcel packing.
Fundraising is now under way and the first event in which you can get involved is the Mayor’s Coffee Morning, being held at Newbury Town Hall from 10am to noon, on Saturday, October 28.
Residents are invited to go along and enjoy a piece of home-made cake.
Many of us are so busy rushing around that we don’t realise there are many elderly people, living close to us, without families around at Christmas.
For them the knock on the door from the person delivering the parcel can be the part of the festive season they look forward to each year.
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 for the parcel fund or to organise their own.
If you have any ideas for fundraising, please contact Joanne Fulker on firstname.lastname@example.org so we can publicise the event for you.
To keep up to date on the latest news, see the Newbury Weekly News each week until Christmas.