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. 
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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.

Donations and Disability Aids

The Giles Group has benefited from various donations over the last few years, which has helped maintain the finances of the Group despite the significant turndown, and then cease, of any funds fromain-left-productm local Government sources. This month we are delighted to report that Clive Earthy, one of our organising committee, has donated the £100 fee he recently received from Channel 5 TV, to the Giles Group funds. This was for an interview about his experiences as a British Airways Steward that they needed for an upcoming report.

Another donation this autumn has come fro
m the Galaxy Hot Chocolate Fund, who try to support small local community projects like ours in several ways. Their current donation is of two jars of their Galaxy Hot Chocolate mix: one of these will go into the Christmas raffle, and the other is already in use at our Tuesday morning Drop-in session at the Community Centre.

71tdREcarNL._SL1500_The Giles Group committee would also like to record their thanks and appreciation to the Alresford Pigs and the Alresford & District Community Association for the help they have provided in re-cycling various disability aids around our members and the wider community in Alresford. This has led to several three and four wheel walkers being passed on to people who might benefit from some form of walking aid, and to the short-term loan of a wheelchair for another member.

Separately the Giles Group has been pleased to supply some more Hi-Vis jackets from our stock, for use on winter evenings – or even daytime! These are available for anyone wishing to purchase them, for just £2. Also, from our catalogues, we have helped another member buy a left handed walking stick – also adjustable and collapsible I gather – for less than half the price of a standard catalogue offer. Advice and help obtaining disability aids is always available from the Giles Group Committee, even if they have to ask someone else!