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East Ilsley celebrates pandemic volunteers alongside Newbury MP Laura Farris

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On July 4, people nationwide celebrated the UK's first ever Thank You Day, intended to honour pandemic volunteers and essential workers - and East Ilsley Parish Council made a special occasion of it.

The council put on an event at the Crown and Horns pub, with afternoon tea and prosecco laid out for local volunteers.

A quiz, complete with prizes for the winning team, was staged, and banners and balloons were arranged around the premises to provide a cheerful atmosphere.

Laura Farris MP and the volunteers.
Laura Farris MP and the volunteers.

Each volunteer was rewarded for their service with a unique medal.

Among the special guests dropping in on the day was Newbury MP Laura Farris.

Parish council clerk Fenella Woods said: "We were thrilled that our own district councillor, Carolyne Culver was able to join us as well.

"Carolyne was instrumental in supporting us with setting up the team, providing weekly Zoom calls to keep us updated and providing support herself to the residents during the pandemic.

"It was a glorious afternoon.

"For many of us, it was the first time we had met face to face, and it was fun to match up faces with WhatsApp profiles, which had been our main source of communication throughout all the lockdowns."

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