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Lin’s street stall in Tilehurst raising money for MNDA charity

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West Berkshire Council Non-Covid Community Volunteer of Year’s latest project

A TILEHURST resident has continued to spread joy and happiness across the area during lockdown by running a community stall outside her home.

Lin Jenkins, who lives in Overdown Road, started off by selling board games and puzzles to raise money and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA) – a charity she works for.

In normal circumstances, Mrs Jenkins would be out every weekend at fetes and other events, raising significant funds for the charity, but the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that.

With more time on her hands, the 66-year-old came up with the idea of selling items outside her house with an honesty box for people to donate money.

“It’s only small at the moment, because it is usually wet or cold,” said Mrs Jenkins. “It gets the elderly and lonely motivated and instead of sitting at home indoors alone, they come and see what I have.

“When one elderly man said ‘this is the highlight of my day’ it is all worth it and I have many stories.

“It gives a purpose to their day.”

During the first lockdown, last March, Mrs Jenkins decided to run the stall outside her house for 100 days, but due to popular demand it ran for 134 days.

During that time she raised more than £2,000.

As well as selling board games, she also had items such as books and gardening equipment for sale and her stall became more popular as the weeks went on.

Mrs Jenkins also attended car boot sales, when restrictions were eased, before reverting back to her community stall early into the new year after receiving a static stand and an honesty box from Helen and Duncan Varley at Glenvale Nurseries in Bradfield.

At the end of the car boot season, she managed to raise an incredible £8,000 and a cheque was presented to the treasurer of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, Reading and West Berkshire branch.

As a result of her community spirit, Mrs Jenkins was recently named West Berkshire Council Non-Covid Community Volunteer of the Year and she also received a letter from Reading West MP Alok Sharma, congratulating her.

Despite the hard work throughout this past year, Mrs Jenkins isn’t stopping yet.

On Tuesday, some of the locals in Tilehurst will be coming together to remember those who have lost their lives due to Covid, as well as thanking the NHS and all key workers.

Mrs Jenkins said: “I have been knitting and sewing and have dressed over two dozen teddy bears as doctors, nurses, and patients, police, drivers, farmers, shop workers, school staff and RNLI.

“I will have a large teddy bear in a wheelchair, representing everyone who has had to totally isolate all this time and Alok Sharma is hoping to be able to visit.

“He is a good supporter of our cause. I hope this proves a fitting tribute.”

Further to this, on Saturday, March 27, and Sunday, March 28, she will have a mini garden fete with prizes and items for sale in order to continue raising money for her charity MNDA.

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