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Newbury Weekly News Over 80s' Parcel Fund

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Christmas is a time of year many of us look forward to and spend time with our families and friends, celebrating and having fun. 

The Newbury Weekly News Over 80s' Parcel Fund was started in 1897! It was known as the Two T’s Fund, set up by Mr Frank Stillman, a reporter at the time and then progressed to be the 2nd Editor. The Two Tea’s stood for tobacco and tea which was given to the elderly residents in the workhouse, or otherwise known as the House on the Hill in Newbury.

In this modern day, things have changed, the Parcel Fund has grown significantly and parcels are delivered to anyone aged over 80, whose name we have been given, living in Newbury, Thatcham or Hungerford and many of the surrounding villages. 

To buy all the contents of these food parcels, we need £20,000 each year as we now deliver about 2100 food parcels. The parcels contain a Christmas meal, items for an afternoon tea, plus of course a few extra treats, such as chocolates and some tasty biscuits to enjoy while relaxing.

Christmas can be a very sad, lonely and difficult time of year, either for those living alone or for those who cannot afford the treats so many of us take for granted.

The parcels are not means tested in any way, and there are many lonely people where it is the company of the person delivering the parcel, even if it is only for 10 minutes, that they look forward to each year leading up to Christmas. So many schools take part now and to see the school children distributing the parcels to elderly recipients is very rewarding.

The Parcel Fund brings together so many people, groups and business who help in so many different ways. Some hold fund raising events, some donate cash towards the food we buy for the parcels and many schools, groups, and businesses help with the distribution of the parcels on what we call ‘D-Day’ the day all the parcels are delivered to the elderly recipients.  

It is lovely seeing it all come together and just makes anyone realise how many very kind and thoughtful people there are in West Berkshire.

If you would like any further information please contact me on 07990 743232 or jo.fulker@newburynews.co.uk

Joanne Fulker

Co-ordinator – Newbury Weekly News Over 80s Parcel Fund

Tel: 01635 566641

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