Extras – November 2020

£1.5m raised for good causes through carrier bag levy since introduction

7 October 2020

£1.5m raised for good causes through carrier bag levy since introduction

Available on request: Photos of local community groups which have received funding

A regional co-operative is marking the success of the carrier bag levy five years after it came into force in England on 5 October 2015.

Southern Co-op’s customers have cut their use of single use plastic bags by millions whilst also raising more than £1.5m for good causes across the south.

Back in 2015 the independent retailer initially set a goal of reducing single-use plastic bags by at least 50% across all of its stores based in Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, East Sussex, London, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Kent, Somerset, Surrey, West Sussex and Wiltshire.

This target was smashed within a year and the downward trend has continued into 2020.

It was estimated that 29 million single use plastic bags were used in 2014 which has been reduced by 78% in 2019.

Gemma Lacey, Director for Sustainability and Communications at Southern Co-op, said: “As a responsible regional business, it is essential that we continue to move people away from single use plastic so we are pleased to see a continued year-on-year reduction in carrier bag sales.

“Whilst we are a convenience store and need to continue to provide customers with a way to carry their shopping home, customers can return these to our store colleagues for recycling.

“Customers are also switching to reusable bags as well as compostable bags which we’ve introduced in stores where the local authority collects household food waste recycling. We hope this trend carries on and continues to make an impact in tackling climate change.”

For every single use bag purchased at a Southern Co-op store 5p is donated to good causes. Since 2015, the donations total more than £1.5 million.

Holly Bramble, Community and Campaign Co-ordinator at Southern Co-op, said: “£1.5m is a huge amount of money and so many small groups have benefitted. In the beginning, we partnered with the Wildlife Trust, Solent Mind, Stand Against Violence and Scope – all of which made a huge impact in their local communities.

“Since then the funds have supported hundreds of small local charities and good causes via Love Your Neighbourhood, our community programme which aims to create greener, safer, healthier and more inclusive neighbourhoods.

“These causes are selected by our local stores and funeralcare branches and range from primary schools PTAs and food banks to hospitals and homeless charities. Each one means something special to our colleagues and their communities.”

The carrier bag levy is just one part of Southern Co-op’s community contributions which are accumulated from a wide range of activities including cash donations, fundraising events, product donations, hours spent volunteering and other fundraising activities.

In 2019, a total of £1.43m was contributed to local communities which includes a direct investment of £513,974 from Southern Co-op and £387,992 from the carrier bag levy. 

To find out more about Southern Co-op’s community fund, visit https://www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk/love-your-neighbourhood.


Basingstoke – Old Basing U3A

u3a LogoBasingstoke – Old Basing U3A

Beating the Virus and having Fun!
All our activities continue to follow government guidelines, and our groups have been taking full advantage of the freedoms we’re allowed.  Our Excursions & Holidays Group is no exception.

Excursions & Holidays
2020 looked marvellous for the Group.  So many things planned, and all well supported by our members.  Then came Lockdown.  Cancellation of the holiday to Croatia, the trip to Houghton Lodge, Stratford on Avon, and Buckingham Palace, as well as the concert at the Royal Albert Hall.  But Group Leader Joyce takes every obstacle in her way as a challenge to overcome.    

A Mystery Coach Tour
Seeing a window in early September, she booked a 48 seater coach, and 27 members set off on a socially distanced Mystery Coach Tour.  Joyce wasn’t sure how many would fancy a coach trip wearing masks, but the response was quick and good.

With the final pick up complete, driver Gareth doubled round a couple of roundabouts to confuse everyone and started us guessing where we might be going.  We agreed we were heading south!  We love being in a coach, looking over hedges and enjoying the countryside.  People driving usually miss so much, with their eyes on the road ahead.  We all look forward to the panoramic views that coach trips can give us.

We finally arrived in Arundel, with three hours to explore its castle, cathedral and some lovely gardens.  We had time for lunch amongst its quaint streets and interesting shops.  Members were so pleased to see each other ‘face to face’ again and everyone went home very happy.

Next Stop Greece
Well done to Joyce once again.  At the end of September a group left for a planned 10-day holiday in Greece.  As Greece uses ‘bubbles’ rather than social distancing, they luckily received clearance to enter the country.  So all good to go – and they went!  From the photo they’ve sent back, their ‘bubble’ seems to be thoroughly enjoying itself!

Come with us
Although we call ourselves the Excursion & Holiday Group, any member of the U3A is welcome to join in, and they do.  Check our website for more details and how to join our U3A.  https://www.basingstokeu3a.org/

We have a visit to SS Great Britain planned for October but with the change in COVID-19 regulations, this is in doubt.  Again, the organisation always follows government guidelines.  You will be looked after and made very welcome. 


Basingstoke Lions Club Report – September 2020

Basingstoke Lions Club Report – September 2020

Covid19 is making us work harder. But people are remarkably resilient, inventive and supportive and the problems which we try to address are local, generally involve families or individuals, and can generally be fixed quickly. 

Fundraising: We ran another Zoom Quiz which was well received and more profitable than the last one. But it was somewhat marred by technical problems. We’ll try a different approach next time. In spite of the fact that all participants managed to score within 8 points of each other there were the usual complaints about the questions being too hard, too easy, too young, too old, wrong subjects etc. Fortunately the question master wears duck feathers. 

Welfare: We had a case of a young girl in need of a specialized wheelchair for which her parents had been unable to raise the balance of funds needed. We and the Loddon Valley Lions (Tadley) made up the difference.

World Sight Day: Denied our usual spot in the Malls, Morrisons were persuaded to host us and a publicity campaign was conducted accordingly. We’d like to thank Morrisons, and of course Vision Express, Leightons and Specs Warehouse for their usual very welcome support.

Reboot IT: Basingstoke Voluntary Action and our Club are co-operating in this scheme to revamp old computers to be passed on to people who cannot afford new ones. Our Fundraising Chairman is so keen on the project that he went to Upton Grey to pick one up. So if you have a redundant computer you’d like to donate for re-cycling please contact BVA on 01256 423816 or email contact@bva.org.uk with your details and they will arrange collection.

Community: We nearly lost two of our members who went out to support the Keep Britain Tidy campaign on a particularly windy day. But they returned fitter and hungrier than they went out.


Article/Letter from Linda Frawley of Old Basing WI

Boston Baked beans

Just in time for Bonfire night, here is another recipe from the 1960’s WI Cookery book by Janet Wier loaned to me by Margaret Haynes.

It does take a long time but is well worth it!  If you start by soaking the beans the night before and then start the cooking in the morning it will be ready before the fireworks start! Goes wonderfully well with sausages or sliced chorizo or a chicken thigh each which you can add when you brown the onions or for a veggie version you could omit the meat and add mushrooms instead.  

This recipe serves 4 but it can be scaled up for larger quantities.  I make this in the slow cooker, but if you do this then you should boil the haricot briskly beans for 10 mins first, before adding to the slow cooker.


  • 320-40g (10-12oz) dried haricot beans (soaked overnight in cold water)
  • 250g (8 oz) belly of pork cut into small cubes (or use smoked bacon lardons)
  • Scant tbsp oil
  • 2 medium onions skinned and sliced
  • 1 ½ level tsp dried mustard (or I find a tbsp of grainy mustard does just as well)
  • ½-1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp black treacle
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1.2 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  A little ground cloves (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to season


  1. Follow the instructions on the haricot bean packet if they require a pre-boiling
  2. Drain the beans but keep the water.
  3. Put the onions in a large oven proof casserole with a lid and gently cook in the oil until the onions start to turn brown.  
  4. Add the pork cubes/bacon lardons/chorizo/chicken or mushrooms and cook for a further 2 or 3 mins until sealed
  5. Add 400-500 ml of the bean water, beans and all the other ingredients.
  6. Bring to a simmer, cover and then place in the oven for 8 hours at 150 degrees C.  Or put in the slow cooker on medium till needed.
  7. Add more water if needed half way through.


Probus Club Report

Probus hears about an unusual Hobby

Probus Club of Basingstoke member David Rawden is a retired chemistry teacher who also had an interest in geography. He set a mini quiz before embarking on his story.

Firstly, to test your knowledge of British geography based upon his exploration of Great Britain that has taken him to the four “corners” of the country.
Can you name the most northerly, easterly, westerly and southerly points of mainland Britain?

Answers can be found at the end of this report.

Some people collect items as a hobby: stamps, books, antiques and so forth. David collected hills. They don’t take up room in the house and they don’t need dusting. After ascending all the Wainwright listed Lake District Fells he turned his attention to the Pennines and county tops. He visited the highest point of all the English counties which gave him the Heineken experience – he reached those parts of the country that people would noy normally reach.

The highest top is Scarfell Pike at 3209 feet situated in the Cumbrian mountains; the lowest is in Norfolk, Beacon Hill at 345 feet found just west of Cromer. Most tops are surmounted by a trig point or cairn so that you know you have succeeded. However, this does not happen in most eastern counties or those near to London. On one occasion he wandered through Pavis Wood near Tring trying to decide which hump was the highest point of Hertfordshire.

There is limited access to two tops in military training areas: Mickle Fell in County Durham and High Wilhays in Devon and its near neighbour Yes Tor. Both are on Dartmoor and are the only mountains (hills above 2000 feet) in England south of the Peak District.

Proper walking gear is essential to reach the majority of tops. However, there are a number of tops fairly near Hampshire which can be accessed by a simple walk from a car park. One of these is Leith Hill not far from Dorking in Surrey and another is Whitehorse Hill which can be found west of Wantage in Oxfordshire. Easiest of all is Ditchling Beacon, not far from Lewes in East Sussex. If you can find it amongst a myriad of unsignposted roads, there is a large pleasant summit area at Black Down, in West Sussex, south of Haslemere (Surrey). Walbury Hill in Berkshire, near Combe to the south west of Newbury, can easily be reached from the cark park at Inkpen Beacon. Continuing east along the Wayfarer’s Walk brings you to Pilot Hill, the highest point of Hampshire, situated just west of Highclere.

Further afield and needing more walking effort are the tops of Dorset, Lewesdown Hill near Beaminster, and in Wiltshire, Milk Hill near Alton Barnes and west of Pewsey. 

Perhaps when we come out of lockdown some of the more active readers might like to visit a few of the local tops. They will be rewarded with a splendid view.

Answers to the quiz:

Most northerly: Dunnet Head. NOT John O’Groats, which is about 10 miles to the east.

Most easterly: Lowestoft Ness, Suffolk. A splendid ground marker (geoscope) denotes the spot. Distances marked show that, for a crow, Amsterdam is lot closer than Cardiff or Newcastle.

Most westerly: Point of Ardnamurchan. It can be reached by crossing Loch Linnhe by the Corran Ferry (SW of Fort William in the Western Highlands) then heading west with a short stop in Strontian – the only place in Britain with an element (strontium) named after it.

Most southerly: Lizard Point, Cornwall. NOT Land’s End which is the most westerly point of mainland England.

If you correctly answer this quiz it proves that your GCE “O” level in Geography was not wasted.


Magazine Article – Prostate Cancer now No1

Prostate Cancer now No1

It is official, prostate cancer is now recognised as the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer in the UK.

Basingstoke hospital is one of the lead locations in the UK for effective treatment.  In addition, locally there is a very effective and active support group for men and their partners affected by this disease – the North Hampshire Prostate Cancer Support Group. 

Locally the level of virus is now very low; and the hospital is seeking to get back to close to normal, whilst still maintaining tight infection control. It is now encouraging any person with suspected cancer to immediately make contact with their GP, as at present the level of cancer referrals from GP’s to the hospital is well below normal, however it is fully open for helping this group of patients.  It has confirmed that all referrals are being handled with an initial face to face contact, before establishing what future treatment is required. 

The support group can help with not only understanding and empathy to deal with the emotional and psychological issues, but it also holds regular meetings with guest speakers addressing an increasingly wide range of subjects.  The current lockdown, although prohibiting physical meets, has not hindered continued gatherings via ‘Zoom’.  Once lockdown is over, it is intended that the popular weekly ‘exercise sessions’ at the sports centre in town will be re-activated.

Contact us and see how the group might help

Call or text 07377 430242

Email info@nhpcsg.org.uk

Website www.nhpcsg.org.uk


Rotary Roundup November 2020

Rotary Roundup – November 2020

 A Healthier Hampshire in a Heartbeat

“Have a heart and help a heart!”  
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is a debilitating heart condition.  You may not have heard of it but it is more common than you may think. If you ask around your friends and family you may be surprise by how many people are affected

AF means living with persistent abnormal heart rhythm, palpitations, chest pains, and breathlessness and of course anxiety. Daily life becomes very difficult and people live in constant fear of another episode. Sufferers never know when they may have an episode, so working is difficult as is going out for the day or on holiday. An episode means a trip to A & E and possibly a stay in hospital and being sent home with drugs to hopefully temporarily control the condition while you wait to see the cardiologist

If the condition becomes more advanced the next level of treatment is cardiac/catheter ablation. It’s a low risk but effective procedure that can be used to treat AF 

If you live in Basingstoke or North Hampshire it means a trip to Southampton for treatment. Ironically the Cardiac consultant and heart rhythm specialist, Rob Bowers, is based in Basingstoke & has to make the same trip to treat you.  Can you help us get this equipment at Basingstoke hospital so that local people with this condition and the consultant no longer have to make that 60 mile round trip?  

Atrial Fibrillation (AF) sufferers in North Hampshire need your help to get treatment here in Basingstoke!

Club President Alf McCarthy

Alf is an AF sufferer.  His first episode saw him taken from his doctor’s surgery by ambulance to A & E and a few days in hospital.  He lived with the debilitating symptoms for 6 months and had a treatment to reset his heart rhythm.  Had this not been successful his next step would have been Ablation and, as he found out, a trip to Southampton for the treatment 

Talking to his consultant he realised that with fundraising this vital equipment could be brought to Basingstoke North Hampshire Hospital. Patients can then be treated locally so that they no longer have to travel to Southampton

Under Alf’s leadership Basingstoke Deane Rotary has set up a fundraising project: 

A Healthier Hampshire in a Heartbeat”
Rotary has already raised a substantial amount of money towards this equipment but we now need your help for the final push to make this happen and achieve Alf’s goal to improve the lives of the numerous local people with this type of debilitating heart condition

You’ll find more information on our website:  

To donate go to:

Basingstoke Deane Rotary is a group of 35men & women from a wide variety of backgrounds. All live locally in the borough but some commute to work outside Basingstoke. Most joined Rotary to help others less fortunate, and they find Basingstoke Deane Rotary adds another extremely enjoyable dimension to their lives. 

If you would like to find out more about how we enjoy ourselves, just tune in to www.rcbd.org.uk  to see what we have coming up, or contact Helen or Paul  above to find out more . We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Facebook: @RotaryBasingstokeDeane                          
Twitter: @RBstokeDeane


Basingstoke Voluntary Action – Members Update

Member’s Update – 11th September 2020 BVA

The Basingstoke and Deane Community Lottery (BanD)
Sign Up Now!
Basingstoke Voluntary Action are delighted to be launching The Basingstoke and Deane Community Lottery (BanD) in September which is an online platform to help raise money within the community, for the community at this difficult time.

Voluntary Sector Forum…
Save the Date!
The next BVA VSF will take place on Wednesday September 30th 2020 10:00 to 11:30 via Zoom. We are currently working on the agenda so if you have any ideas please get in touch and let us know.

DBS Checks…
Did You Know?
BVA are working to make improvements to our DBS service, which we are restarting shortly. All our clinics have been suspended since March however we are currently working to re-introduce them as soon as possible.

Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service…
There’s Still Time!
There is still time to nominate a charity for the the 2021 Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. This award aims to recognise outstanding work by the voluntary sector and volunteer groups to benefit their local communities.

Remember A Charity in your Will Week…
Wombles Lend a Hand for 2020!
Remember A Charity in your Will Week has launched, this year with the support of The Wombles, with the aim to further boost legacy giving as the sector battles with the impact of Covid-19.


Basingstoke Voluntary Action
The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 4AF
www.bvaction.org.uk | contact@bvaction.org.uk

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