Thursday, 25 February 2021

Charity to move in lockdown

THE planned move by the Fish volunteer centre in Sonning Common could be completed by the end of this month despite the coronavirus lockdown.

The charity is relocating from Kennylands Road to the old police station in Lea Road after raising £150,000 to fund the move.

It was hoping to have gone by the end of December but this was delayed by bad weather. The heavy rain meant the new roof couldn’t be finished in time.

The third national lockdown has caused a further delay.

The lease at its current site, which is owned by former village GP Dr Peter Hemphill, expires this month but he has said Fish can remain there for as long as it needs.

Clive Mills, the former Fish chairman, who has been overseeing the move, said: “Last time we were planning to move we were allowed six people outside in a group and it was all worked out.

“Now this national lockdown has come along and knocked it all down again. We are hoping that we will be able to move by the end of the month.

“Most of our materials are in the new site and we’ve got a few more things left to be delivered.”

Mr Mills said the charity hoped to have an official celebration in the summer if coronavirus restrictions had been lifted by then.

He said: “We’ll have a community opening with drinks and canapés. It will be a community day and people can come along and see what we’ve achieved.”

The money for the move was raised through a “buy a brick” appeal, a donation from the Mulberry Trust, a grant from South Oxfordshire District Council and the charity’s own reserves.

Fish (Friendship In Sickness and Health) has resumed its usual services transporting people to the shops, the doctor and hospital or picking up and delivering prescriptions and shopping for people who are vulnerable or shielding.

For more information, visit www.fishvolunteer
centre.org.uk

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