Friday, 15 February 2019

Tea and company

Tea and company

ELDERLY residents enjoyed an afternoon of tea and friendly chat at Sonning Common village hall on Monday.

More than 60 guests attended the event, which was organised by volunteers from the Fish Volunteer Centre and was designed to help prevent people living on their own feeling lonely.

The charity, which is based on the corner of Kennylands Road and Kidmore Lane, provides support and community transport to those in need in Sonning Common and surrounding villages.

The guests were served tea and a selection of snacks including egg and salmon sandwiches, sausages, sponge cake, brownies and biscuits and chocolates.

They played bingo and took part in a raffle with prizes that included wine, biscuits, chocolates and mince pies.

Angela Morris, 81, of Westleigh Drive, said: “They always do very good tea for us. Because of the Fish Volunteer Centre, I am able to get out and about. I use the service each month but not every week. I do not drive, so I need it for the shops.

“The organisers are wonderful — very, very good. They look after us extremely well.” Patricia Maitland, 89, said: “I live on my own, so I need somewhere to go. I like to come and meet everybody.

“I have lived in Sonning Common for 64 years and went to school in Grove Road and it’s nice to meet up if you have not seen somebody for a while.” Joan Wade, 76, of Crowsley Way said: “The tea is really good and I’ve had a lovely time. I know a lot of people and I get to talk to the others.”

Linda Hunt, 71, moved to Peppard Road six months ago.

She said: “I didn’t know anybody when I came here but I go on all the Fish outings and have made lots of friends.

“The bus is really brilliant and the drivers are wonderful — all the volunteers are. They work so hard making the cakes and seeing that everybody is all right.”

Volunteer Pam Gross said the charity helped prevent people from feeling isolated.

She said: “A lot of people do not see anybody from one month to the next. Loneliness is a huge problem and events like this work to tackle it.

“We are all volunteers and some of our helpers are drivers and we do whatever is necessary. The charity has been going for 40 years, so it is very well established.”

• South Oxfordshire District Council has awarded the Fish Volunteer Centre a £750 grant for training volunteers and providing information packs to its drivers.

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