Sun, 16 Dec 2018
FOOD parcels have been delivered to almost 2,000 people over the age of 80 in West Berkshire, thanks to the efforts of our kind-hearted community.
Volunteers were busy delivering the parcels to elderly recipients in Newbury, Thatcham, Hungerford and some surrounding villages.
On Friday, December 7, pupils from Trinity, St Bartholomew’s, Park House and Kennet schools gave up their time to help support the Newbury Weekly News Over 80s’ Parcel Fund.
It is lovely to see the children enjoying being involved and the elderly recipients’ faces light up when they deliver the food parcels with a polite smile and wish them a ‘happy Christmas’.
We also had employees from Vodafone give up their Friday afternoon to deliver parcels to Newbury recipients.
As it has for many years now, our thanks also go to Camp Hopson’s van and the men who worked extremely hard that morning to load and unload the 1,200 parcels for the Newbury residents.
Thanks also to Swift Couriers, which took parcels to Upper Bucklebury, the Thatcham distribution centre and Hungerford Croft Hall on Saturday morning.
I would like to thank Newbury co-ordinator Sue Kitchener, John Smart from Thatcham Rotary for organising Thatcham parcels, Ted and Daphne Angell from CHAIN for organising Hungerford and Mike Gilbert, from Hungerford Rotary Club for organising the Kintbury parcels.
Without these people the logistics of the parcel distribution would be almost impossible.
Saturday saw many kind-hearted volunteers give their time to make door-to-door deliveries to nearly 2,000 over-80-year-olds.
In Newbury, the Rotary Club, Lions Club, councillors – including Newbury mayor Margo Payne – Round Table members and many more turned up to take food parcels to the over-80s.
Thatcham parcels were delivered by Thatcham Royal British Legion and Thatcham Rotary Club members and many other volunteers from all around.
Hungerford and Kintbury parcels were taken to the elderly residents by CHAIN and the Hungerford Rotary Club.
In addition, residents of 10 local nursing homes received a tin of chocolates to share leading up to the festive period.
As has happened now for many years, the nuns at St Gabriel’s Convent, Cold Ash, were taken a basket of fruit by Frank Quinn.
The Parcel Fund, which has been been going for more than 100 years, started as the ‘Two Ts Fund’ for people in the workhouse or the ‘House on the Hill’ in Newbury, as it was known. The parcel in those days contained tobacco for the gentlemen and tea for the ladies.
Times have changed significantly, as have the food parcels, which today contain food for a Christmas dinner, including a pudding, afternoon tea and several treats to nibble while watching the TV.
The Newbury Weekly News parcel allocation is not means tested, as money is no bar to loneliness and for many recipients the joy they experience when the parcel is delivered can mean more to them than anything.
The Parcel Fund is a way for the local community, through the NWN, to say a big thank you to all our elderly people for all they have done during their lifetime.