Sun, 23 Feb 2020
TWO local charities have received £6,000 between them from the Newbury Weekly News in recognition for helping with the paper’s Over 80s’ Parcel Fund.
The Parcel Fund is a way of saying a big ‘thank you’ to our elderly people for all they have done in their lifetime and making sure they realise they are not forgotten at Christmas.
Every year since 1897, the NWN has delivered food parcels to hundreds of residents over the age of 80.
The NWN donated the cash to the Fair Close Centre in Newbury and CHAIN in Hungerford to acknowledge the invaluable part both played in collecting and distributing the parcels last year.
CHAIN received £2,000 and chairwoman Janette Kersey said: “We’ve already used £500 to put towards the John O’Gaunt School Christmas party for the elderly this year.
“We wanted to do something connected with the elderly, in keeping with the sprit of the Newbury News parcel fund.
“Then we’ve got a meeting with our trustees on March 16 when we will discuss how best to use the rest.”
The Fair Close Centre in Newbury, run by Age Concern, received £4,000.
The centre, in Newtown Road, is a friendly place for the senior citizens of West Berkshire to meet, eat and relax.
The chief executive of Newbury and district Age Concern, James Wilcox, said: “The donation is incredibly helpful. It’s helping us to put together a paper-based directory of elderly people in the community, as we recognise not all elderly people are internet-savvy.
“And because the centre is only open Monday to Friday at present, it will help us to start a Sunday lunch event where over 65s can get together.
“We’re planning a similar thing for Saturdays, in time.”
Newbury Weekly News editor Andy Murrill said: “The NWN Christmas appeal started an amazing 122 years ago and is one of the most important things this newspaper does.
“The Over 80s’ Parcel Fund is an incredible community effort, with schools, Scouts and businesses all getting involved.
“And we are very grateful to the Greenham Trust for helping us to pay the £20,000 festive food bill each year.
“But we couldn’t deliver 2,000 hampers every Christmas without the huge support we get from the Fair Close Centre and CHAIN.
“This year we wanted to thank those two organisations by giving them a significant amount of money that we know they will use to greatly benefit older people in West Berkshire.”