Sunday, 19 September 2021

Extra special delivery

A TEENAGER delivered some extra Christmas cheer to fellow villagers in Shiplake.

A TEENAGER delivered some extra Christmas cheer to fellow villagers in Shiplake.

Paper girl Kirsty Milne, 15, sent home-made cards to all the customers on her round, each one with a personalised watercolour of their house on the front.

Kirsty, who is studying art for her GCSE, began the extra service two years ago when she painted a picture of Lower Shiplake post office and corner shop for whom she delivers newspapers.

She said: “Normal paper round people give out Christmas cards but I thought I’d be a bit different.

“I took a picture on my phone or with a camera and then went home and painted it. People were quite shocked but also impressed. I don’t think anyone had done anything like that before.”

Each card takes Kirsty about half an hour to finish.

She said: “I usually sketch it out first with pencil to work out the proportions and then I use watercolours to do the outlines and then again to add more detail.”

The former Shiplake Primary School pupil started a paper round when she was 12 and was accompanied by her parents until she was 13.

She said: “My brother used to do it and I thought it would be a good way to earn some money.” At first she had a weekend round, making between 15 and 20 deliveries, which she did for about 18 months.

Then at the beginning of this year she changed to a weekday round because she wanted a lie-in at weekends.

Kirsty, who lives in Station Road, delivers to homes in Mill Road, New Road and some of Crowsley Road before she leaves for Gillotts School in Henley.

The job involves around 15 drops on most days and she is paid £18 a week.

Kirsty said: “I usually get up at about 7am and it takes me about 20 minutes depending on how fast I am cycling. Fridays are a bit heavier because everyone buys the Henley Standard.” She sometimes receives tips and has even had two commissions as a result of her work.

“The biggest tip I have ever got from a single house was £20,” she said. “One of the houses I gave a Christmas card to last year asked me if I could do a bigger picture of their house and another asked if I could do the same for a birthday. I was paid £40 and £30 but I don’t like to charge.”

Kirsty has likrf drawing and painting since she was a small girl.

“I really enjoy art a lot and I do it for GCSE,” she said. “I do like to draw and paint sketches and I have a desk in my bedroom where I do them. I quite like to draw animals and portraits.” Her mother Cheryl, a student advisor at the University of Reading, says it’s good for children to do a paper round.

She said: “It teaches them value for money and that you have to work hard,” she said.

Kirsty’s father, Stuart, is a project manager, while her 19-year-old brother Ross is in Australia on a gap year and her sister, Zara, 21, is studying at Oxford University.

The family spent Christmas with about 15 relatives.

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