Friday, 03 April 2020

WI coffee mornings raise £1,400 for seven charities

WI coffee mornings raise £1,400 for seven charities

SONNING Common Women’s Institute has donated £200 each to seven local charities.

The money was raised through the sale of crafts, books, jewellery and cards at the members’ coffee mornings, which are held at the village hall in Wood Lane each month.

The cheques were presented at this month’s event.

More than 50 people were present and welcomed representatives from the Fish volunteer centre in Sonning Common, Sonning Common Community First Responders, Sonning Common Youth Club, Greenshoots nursery in Peppard, the Nomad youth and community project in Henley, Riverside Counselling Service in Henley and Sue Ryder.

Richard McQuillan, chairman of Fish, said the money would support the charity’s transport service for local people without a car who need to attend medical appointments and other engagements.

“It will help with the day-to-day running of the office,” he said. “We have 20 volunteers who run it on a part-time basis and that’s really where we need the support.”

Community first responder Chris Brook said its contribution would go towards new equipment.

She and her three fellow volunteers have been trained by the South Central Ambulance Service to deal with emergencies and are dispatched at the same time as ambulance crews because they will usually arrive first.

Last year, they received 224 calls and arrived first at 82 per cent of incidents.

Ms Brook said: “We’re constantly buying new equipment. If the WI didn’t give us any money we would have to fundraise ourselves but if we are fundraising we’re not responding.”

Sunny Smithers, who runs the village youth club, said: “The money will help massively. We can upgrade our equipment or take them all on a trip.”

The club meets at Maiden Erlegh Chiltern Edge School in the village on two weekday evenings.

Chris Fuller, of the Ways and Means Trust, which operates Greenshoots nursery, said the money would help with the training of adults with physical and learning disabilities to make them more employable.

Riverside provides counselling and psychotherapy to adults and children in and around Henley.

Last year it supported more than 330 people and provided 753 counselling sessions for young people. Fundraisng manager Amanda Collins said: “Without donations, we would not be able to provide the service.”

Nomad project manager Sue Prior said: “Fundraising is always a challenge and any donations are always welcome.”

A spokeswoman for Sue Ryder, which provides palliative care, said the charity was “delighted” to received the donation.

WI president Jenny Ward said: “Sonning Common WI has hosted these coffee mornings, which are open to the community to come together to meet up for coffee and biscuits and chat, to share information and participate in the various fundraising stalls.

“Thanks to the support this year, we’re able to present cheques to seven local organisations who do so much to contribute to the wellbeing of people in the area.”

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