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'Amazing' support for charity Christmas fair

More than £1,000 raised for baby memorial in Thatcham

'Amazing' support for charity Christmas fair

CHRISTMAS may be some time away – but a festive fair has helped a local charity towards a lasting memorial for babies taken too soon. 

West Berkshire-based stillbirth and neonatal death charity Sands held the fair at the Frank Hutchings community hall on Sunday. 

Crafters and shoppers helped the charity raise more than £1,000 towards a memorial, which it is hoped will be built at the London Road Cemetery in Thatcham. 

The chairwoman of West Berkshire Sands, Rachel Telford, said: “We did really well, considering it was Remembrance Day. 

“We managed to raise £1,072.22, which is just amazing.

“I’m so humbled by Thatcham Town Council and everyone who supported the event.

“It was a huge success and some of our stallholders asked if we were doing it again next year, so I’m a very, very happy lady.” 

Thatcham town councillors discussed taking the designs for the memorial garden out to consultation, with regular cemetery visitors at a meeting on Monday. 

Sheila Ellison (Con, Thatcham North) said: “I don’t really know what to think about this. Have we got room for this memorial garden?” 

Dominic Boeck (Con, Thatcham South and Crookham) replied that the town council would be consulting and coming back with the best ways to progress. 

The consultation will last for six weeks and, once public comments are collated, the town council has recommended that the results be discussed at a meeting in January for final approval.   

Thatcham Town Council, which manages the cemetery, is consulting on the proposals until Friday, January 5 2018.

The town council is asking residents whether they would like a baby memorial garden at the cemetery; whether they like the design; and for any comments people have to make.

Comments can be submitted via pick up a paper survey from the council services in Brownsfield Road or from the cemetery; call the town council offices on 01635 863592 or email  

The design is available to view on the town council Facebook page, on its website and at the council offices.

To make a donation to West Berkshire Sands visit  

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