Friday, 18 June 2021

Henley Ladies Probus Club

MEMBERS met in May for their annual charity meeting, which this year was for the Ways

MEMBERS met in May for their annual charity meeting, which this year was for the Ways and Means Trust.

The chairman Mary Barrett welcomed the members, including two new ones, and expressed her thanks to those members who had offered to help run the meeting when necessary.

Mary then introduced Frances Hill, chief executive of the Ways and Means Trust, a registered charity formed 47 years ago specifically to provide rehabilitation and training for those recuperating from mental illness.

The aim was to provide a safe environment where people could rebuild their skills and to help them find employment.

Now the trust works with adults who have a learning or physical disability, or who are recovering from poor mental health.

It provides social and practical skills for independent living and training, education and work experience to assist adults working towards employment.

The charity started in a building loaned from the then Reading-based company Huntley and Palmer, then moved to Lower Caversham, where it had premises for more than 45 years.

In June 2014, the trust relocated to Rotherfield Peppard, alongside its horticultural centre Greenshoots.

This extra space gave it the opportunity to have large polytunnels and extra classrooms for teaching and training.

The charity offers support to gain social, practical and educational skills in order for disabled adults to live more independently and actively contribute to society, recognising that the progression to employment will be very challenging for many.

At Greenshoots they grow a variety of herbaceous, herbs and summer bedding plants as well as a range of produce and soft fruits.

Where possible these crops are grown without added chemicals, such as pesticides, fertillisers and fungicides.

During the spring and summer they also have a range of hanging baskets and will refill your basket or trough each year and will care for it while you go on holiday. They also have their own chickens.

Frances is happy to meet volunteers at the site or to just look around and see what they do and you can buy a jar of chutney or jam from the Greenshoots shop.

Frances gave a very inspiring talk with photographs showing the work the trust does. It was very uplifting to hear of the voluntary contributions it receives, both monetary and practical, from several local businesses as well as from the public.

The date of the next meeting is June 9 when the talk will be “Henley heritage, exploring Henley and its people” by Elizabeth Hazeldine.

For more information about Henley Ladies Probus Club, please contact Marion Whitaker by email at

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