Financial results for 2018

The February 2019 meeting of the Giles Group was also the AGM, where the financial performance over the 2018 year was discussed.

The overall spend for the year was £1115, in fact just £7 less than last year. The income was approx £130 more than in 2017, but this included two separate donations from the New Alresford Town Council, of £325 each – these payments replaced a similar level of support from other bodies, classed as ‘Donations’ in the previous year. Two other sources of revenue were down on 2017, Membership subscriptions were down £40 for the year, and the raffles earned £40 less than in 2017.

The full figures can be seen in the report below.

Scan Giles AGM

The funds carried forward into February 2019, the start of the Group’s next financial year were £1024, which should cover costs for the rest of the year.

25 years in Alresford

The Giles Group has now been established for 25 years in Alresford.

The founder members were mainly women, who saw the need to pass on their knowledge of help and support systems and networks to other disabled people.  Three of these pioneers still live in the Alresford area: Tessa Purkiss, Hazel Worland and Mary Keer. Sadly, in January 2019, Fabia Wrigley finally lost her long fight with Multiple Sclerosis, aged 74, and a Service of Thanksgiving for her life was held in St Johns.

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Fabia Wrigley

The founder members were mainly women, who saw the need to pass on their knowledge of help and support systems and networks to other disabled people.  Three of these pioneers still live in the Alresford area: Tessa Purkiss, Hazel Worland and Mary Keer.

Sadly, in January 2019, Fabia Wrigley finally lost her long fight with Multiple Sclerosis, aged 74, and a Service of Thanksgiving for her life was held in St Johns. Regrettably also, our past Chairman, Brian Purkiss, is no longer attending meetings, having moved to live in a Nursing home locally. The members are grateful for their contributions to establishing and running the Giles Group in Alresford.

 

The Giles Group in 2019

The Giles Group continues the normal schedule of meetings in 2019.

After the successful Christmas party in December, the next Monday afternoon meeting will be on January 14, when Gerald Wyeth from Ropley will discuss “The Life of a Shepherd” – ably assisted by his sheep dog, I am told! All our monthly meetings are on the second Monday in the month – a full listing can be found in the 2019 programme shown elsewhere on this website.

As usual the town Minibus will collect those who have asked for the service, starting at 1pm from Meryon Road, and working round the town from the West. Please stay in your houses and wait to be collected, do not stand outside in the cold! There is a £2 total charge for the Minibus journeys to town and back.

Also on EVERY Tuesday morning throughout 2019, coffees and teas will be available at our small meeting in the Town Hall, to let you take a break from shopping. At the same time, any surplus bread and pastries from the Tesco store are distributed free of charge, when available. This recycling of short dated food has run very successfully for two years, and is continuing: the Giles Group is delighted to help Tesco in this community exercise. Any surplus food remaining at 12 midday when the coffee morning closes is taken to Makins Court.

Giles Christmas party

Once again a choir of girls from the Perins school music department started the Giles Group Christmas party off with some lovely songs, including some that brought the older members up to date! Particularly impressed with one song, one of our members was pleased to believe that it was composed by Verdi, as she liked his music and operas. The actual composer was Birdy, from the New Forest, not Italy! Nevertheless they were all delighted with the singing, and we are delighted that Mr Ashford and the Perins girls took the time to entertain us so well

The interface between generations went fairly well, particularly with the arrival of last year’s music teacher, now Mrs Ashford, with her new baby boy, Jack. The girls were obviously delighted to see her, and to meet Jack, as were the rest of the audience.

The choir made a great opening to the party, which followed on with a quiz, and a reading of some Pam Ayres poems: this on top of the mulled wine and party food meant several ladies needed taking home early, a bit dizzy!

Some photos from the event:

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The Perins girls singing at the Giles party

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Mr + Mrs Ashford plus Jack organising the choir
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Either planning the next song, or talking about babies?

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FareShare food distribution

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The charity ‘FareShare’ is working with the Tesco store in Alresford to ensure that food that is no longer suitable for sale is distributed around the local community. Basically the food has reached its ‘sell-by date’, and is surplus to their requirements. FareShare and Tesco wish to see that this food is not wasted, but distributed to anyone who can make use of it.

Various local community groups have undertaken to distribute the food, according to the FareShare principles: two of the first organisations to sign up in Alresford were the Giles Group and the ADCA, the Alresford & District Community Association. Both operate from the Alresford Community Centre:

Tuesdays: the Giles Group

The Giles Group is arranging to distribute the surplus Tesco food that is available on Tuesday mornings, from their ‘Drop-in’ coffee morning held every week in the Community Centre. This operates from 1030 till 12 noon. Any food remaining is then delivered to the Makins Court Common Room, at around 1230.

Fridays: the ADCA Coffee morning

On Fridays, the food available from Tesco is distributed to those who attend the ADCA coffee morning, also held in the Community Centre. Again, any left over at the end of the morning is delivered to Makins Court for the residents there.

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Some of the surplus food recently made available by Tesco, with the Alresford Society Salver, recently awarded to the Giles Group for 2018. 

Giles award from The Alresford Society

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!

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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.

Life as a Harbour pilot

The October meeting was delighted to welcome Gareth Rees, who spoke to us about his work as a Pilot for the liners and container carriers arriving and departing from Southampton, down the Solent. The climb up the rope ladder dropped down the side of the ship or tanker attracted most attention, particularly as often this is used when both the ship and the pilot boat are still cruising along!

Following his slide show and presentation, Gareth also demonstrated the life jacket he wears to climb this ladder, which automatically inflates when immersed in water: not something that one pilot’s wife understood, when she decided that it could do with a clean, and put it in the washing machine!

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Gareth’s land office is in the blue building, in the centre of the pic: the two ships to the left (a cruise liner) and right (a car transporter) are typical of where he works – they offer different types of challenge, when he has to climb up the side, out in the Solent – sometimes up a rope ladder! The harbour tugs are the blue boats near the office building.

After the talk, and raffle, various of the Giles Group’s stock of disability aids and fluorescent jackets were offered to Giles Group members, in return for a small donation.