Saturday, 21 October 2017

Couple retire from charity collection after 13 years

A COUPLE are standing down after co-ordinating an annual charity collection in Peppard for 13 years.

A COUPLE are standing down after co-ordinating an annual charity collection in Peppard for 13 years.

Ian and Pat Fraser have been organising door-to-door collections during Christian Aid week since 2003.

They took over the voluntary role when Barbara Butler stood down after 30 years.

The couple, who live in Springwood Lane, arranged for 23 people to collect door to door around the parish during the second week of May every year.

The volunteers post red envelopes through each door and collect them at the end of the week.



Christian Aid raises about £6.5 million a year through the door-to-door collections across Britain and Ireland.

The Frasers first became involved with the charity after a volunteer knocked on their door not long after they had moved to Peppard from Hertfordshire in 2001.

Mrs Fraser, 77, said: “We put our hands up for everything!”

In 13 years, the couple have overseen the collection of more than £21,000 plus another £4,000 from four concerts they organised at All Saints’ Church in Peppard.

Mr Fraser, 76, who worked as a presentation manager with magazine publisher IPC Media for 32 years before he retired in 1999, said it was important to ensure the collectors didn’t miss any houses.

He said: “The whole parish is covered and we also have people covering Satwell and Shepherd’s Green.”

Donations have remained steady over the years despite ever-increasing competition for donations from other charities.

Mr Fraser said: “Every week now there is a major charity promoting itself. This week there is Sports Relief and you did not have that 20 years ago.

“Just Giving has allowed people to contribute and donate online. People are more generous now but there is a huge volume of these campaigns and one follows another.

“Charities tend to be more global and have huge media support and people have multiple requests for people to do charitable giving.” Mr Fraser has  a number of other voluntary roles in the village.

He is  advertising manager for Peppard News, the village magazine, and  co-ordinates a four-strong team responsible for maintenance of the All Saints’ churchyard.

He also takes part in the annual Ride or Stride event.  The money raised by this is split between the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust and All Saints’ Church, where it goes towards maintenance.

Mr Fraser also drove the Sonning Common Fish bus for 10 years.

His wife did secretarial work before raising the couple’s twins Jenny and Niall at home.

She then worked at Sonning Common library before becoming a volunteer there.

She helps deliver library books for Books for the Housebound, is secretary of the parochial church council at All Saints’ and is the clerk for the Peppard Relief in Need charity.

The Frasers moved to Peppard from Elstree to look after Mrs Fraser’s mother Elyane Leiner, who passed away in 2005.

They were married at All Saints’ in 1967. Their children were christened and also married there and two of their grandchildren were also baptised at the church.

Mr Fraser said: “This is our church because we were married there.

“We were involved from the word go when we moved here but not in a religious context.

“Once we got here we started going to church very regularly — it’s a community hub in Peppard.”

Mrs Fraser added: “Christian Aid always sends a letter of thanks for the donations and 90 per cent of the money goes towards the work it does with the other 10 per cent used for expenses.

“It’s pretty much the same people who give each year and they have all been very  generous.”

If you are interested in taking over the role, call the Frasers on (01491) 629631 or send an email to patricia.fraser@btinternet.com



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