Charity news and good causes from across the region

PUBLISHED: 14:31 01 April 2014 | UPDATED: 14:37 01 April 2014

Oddfellows Trustee Adrian Taylor, District Chairman Brian Harper and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity Ambassador Zoe Farmer

Oddfellows Trustee Adrian Taylor, District Chairman Brian Harper and Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity Ambassador Zoe Farmer


This month’s charity news in Berkshire and Buckinghamshire

Romans manager Mark Wright in a bean-filled bathRomans manager Mark Wright in a bean-filled bath

Friends, Romans and fundraisers

You name it, they’ve done it. When it comes to taking on a challenge there’s little to beat the creativity of the 450 staff at estate and letting agency Romans, who have now raised £32,010 in just two years for the Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service.

Whether it’s fitness tests such as the Three Peaks Challenge, sitting in a bath of baked beans, or selling cookbooks, every Romans Group division has been involved.

Peter Coles, Romans’ Group managing director, says: “Everyone across the business is passionate about raising money for Alexander Devine, from new starters all the way up to the board of directors. It still amazes me how imaginative the teams are and I’m certain this will continue as we’re committed to supporting the charity throughout 2014.”

Romans chose the charity to help make their vision of building a children’s hospice in Berkshire a reality. It was co-founded by Fiona Devine, who lost her own child, Alexander, after he was diagnosed with a brain tumour at just four years old.

Fiona says: “Romans’ support helps our nurses to go in and provide specialised sensory play which builds confidence and relationships with the child and family, and the more tragic end of life care that we can provide. Now they are supporting us in our biggest challenge to date by raising the £5 million to build Berkshire’s children’s hospice.”

Learn more about Romans’ charity campaigns at and see


Oddfellows’ year for GOSH

Beds and Bucks Oddfellows presented £3,451 to the Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity at Woburn Village Hall after members raised funds through personal contributions, raffles and donations at social events.

Each year the Society’s District Chairman (Provincial Grand Master) chooses a charity. Current holder Brian Harper explains: “My brother John was treated there as a child, and I have a special fondness for the hospital. He received an outstanding level of care.”

This year members will support the Willow Foundation, set up by the ex-footballer Bob Wilson in memory of his daughter, who died of cancer. The foundation supports young people suffering from cancer and gives them memorable days out.

The Oddfellows Society is one of the largest friendly societies in the UK, with more than 280,000 members nationwide. For information about becoming a member contact Sue on 07971 853881.


Racing’s vital charity

The Injured Jockeys Fund is marking 50 years of helping jockeys past and present, and at Oaksey House, in Lambourn we have their superb rehabilitation centre for riders, the racing world’s workers, other sports men and women and the local community.

We’ll be taking a closer look at their work in our next issue, but for now pencil these fixtures in your diary for events supporting the IJF. Race meetings: Windsor on Monday, 14 April, and Ascot on Wednesday 30 April, (Newbury supported the IJF in February). Day out: Good Friday, 18 April, The Betfair Lambourn Open Day. Official dinner and golf day: 1 & 2 June, Pennyhill Park Hotel and The Royal Berkshire Golf Course.

The Injured Jockeys Fund: Celebrating Fifty Years 1964-2014 by Sean Magee is available from, priced £20. It includes a foreword by the Fund’s patron, HRH The Princess Royal (who took on the role after the passing of her grandmother, The Queen Mother) and stunning photos and recollections.

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