At the AGM of the Alresford Society, in October 2017, Chairman Jan Field announced that the 2018 recipients of the Society’s Silver Salver would be the Giles Group of Alresford. This award is to recognise the work of the Giles Group in helping the disabled and less mobile members of the Alresford Community, and their carers, by organising monthly meetings where suitable topics are presented, and members can also discuss and learn about mobility aids and other services that are available. In addition the Group has a weekly “Drop-in” coffee morning, in the Community Centre on a Tuesday, enabling somewhere for members to meet for a tea or coffee, talk and rest during a shopping trip to Alresford town centre – and also to make further enquiries about equipment or services that might help them. Anyone is welcome at the coffee morning, even if only to find out more about what the Giles Group does!
Tessa Purkiss and Clive Earthy, two of the Giles Committee members, attended the AGM to accept the award, and are photographed below, with the salver. It is planned that this will be on display at the monthly Giles Group meetings throughout the next year. Tessa was one of the founder members of the group, which was formed in Alresford some 23 years ago – which was in the dark ages, before the advent of the Internet as an information source!
Jan Field assumed that everyone would have heard of the Giles Group’s existence, but felt that not everyone knew about their activities, or what help they can offer to local people. In co-operation with the Alresford Pigs Association, they also provide help with getting mobility aids for those who might need them, like 3 and 4-wheeled walkers, and even mobility scooters. The meetings and coffee mornings also give the opportunity for friendly, occasionally lively discussions, covering the use and sourcing of other mobility aids. A stock of low cost items is usually available, like electric plug “pulls” to safely remove plugs from their sockets, and hi-vis yellow jackets for winter afternoons. The local Age Concern Village Agent, Denise Buxton, also regularly attends Giles meetings and coffee mornings, to make contacts and off any further advice, when needed.
The Alresford Society AGM closed with a talk from Graham Curtis about the history of the Dean School back in the 1950s! Despite the torrential rain that evening, the meeting in the John Pearson Hall was well attended.