The first meeting of 2023 was held on 4th January with 45 members attending. The Chairman, David Cowling, wished everyone a Happy New Year and then proceeded to give an update on the upcoming trips planned for the year. Christine Broadbent, the Welfare Officer, gave an update on various members and also thanked David for all his hard work throughout 2022.
Basingstoke Food Bank
The guest speaker this month was Pam Durroch from Basingstoke Food Bank which is part of the Trussell Trust. Pam informed us that the food bank was set up on 1st October 2012 so had been in operation for 10 years. In the first year, they supplied 1046 parcels for 2000 people. By last year this had increased to 2500 parcels for 5500 people, an increase of 45%. The parcels they supply are intended to last for approximately 3 days and she showed us an example of the different items included. These parcels are only supplied to people who have been referred to the Food Bank by official bodies including Citizens Advice, Housing Associations, District Nurses, Schools etc. These parcels are then collected by the clients, although should the occasion arise, they can be delivered. Pam expressed thanks on behalf of the Food Bank and their clients for all the food and money donations received by the public and from members at the meeting. If you require further information please go to the website at www.basingstoke.foodbank.org.uk
Next Group Outing
The next group outing is on Monday 20th March which is a tour of the Houses of Parliament with the coach leaving Oakley at 7.15am at the Leisure Centre at 7.30am. The price of the trip is £28 (£30 for non-members). On Thursday 27th April at 2.15pm we are having Afternoon Tea at BCOT with a variety of sandwiches, cakes and scones with unlimited tea all for £11.
The next meeting is on 1st Februrary when we have a return visit from Mel Rees who will give a talk titled “ …and another thing I meant to say….”. At the 1st March meeting we have our AGM with a talk from Able Care which will then be followed by lunch at the Conservative Club.
The group meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Brookvale Village Hall from 10am to 12 noon and all retired Civil Servants, their relatives and friends are welcome. Further details about the group and information about our trips can be obtained by contacting – firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Margaret Atkinson