THE Highclere Society celebrated two decades of involvement in the community and the raising of more than £12,000 for charities over the years.
Chairman of the society, Patrick Hedgeland, presented a cheque for £950 to Fiona Rochford, the national development manager of the National Osteoporosis Society, at the society’s 20th anniversary annual meeting at Highclere Village Hall.
Over the last 20 years, the society has donated more than £12,000 to different charities and local good causes, such as the village hall extension, the film club, church bells and a defibrillator.
The society – which aims to uphold and improve the social life and environment of the parish – has seen membership numbers grow over the last 20 years, from an initial 30 to the current 330.
“As chairman for all those 20 years, I am proud of our achievements,” said Mr Hedgeland.
The society also monitors and lodges any objections and comments to planning applications affecting the parish, and keeps an eye on associated local plans and any new planning legislation.
Funds raised by the society are also earmarked to employ planning consultants to help fight any proposed “large and unwelcome development [in the village]”, said Mr Hedgeland.
The society, which also hosts social events, including winter wine tasting, summer parties and golf days, celebrated the 20th anniversary with a dinner dance and casino evening towards the end of last year.
The evening had a James Bond theme, with entertainment including a roulette table and two blackjack tables.
This was followed by a disco, with dancing to quiet background music and a charity fundraising raffle.
The society, which delivers welcome packs to new villagers, also oversees Pride in Parish projects including planting of daffodils along the A343/Andover Road through the village, painting railings and helping to maintain parish milestones and footpaths.
Publications include pamphlets detailing local walks, the Highclere Parish Village Design Statement and others on local history of the parish.
Members receive newsletters and social media alerts on local issues.
For more information about the Highclere Society visit www.highcleresociety.org.uk