Twyford Santas on their way

PUBLISHED: 11:54 22 November 2013 | UPDATED: 11:54 22 November 2013

Skates enjoying the rink at Hare Hatch Sheeplands

Skates enjoying the rink at Hare Hatch Sheeplands

Gareth Jones/

Twyford’s Be a Santa to a Senior campaign is up and running with the first money already coming in.

The campaign was launched with a party at Hare Hatch Sheeplands garden centre where the main attraction for guests was an ice skating rink.

Food, drink and a warming bonfire were also on offer in return for a donation to the Santa fund and by the end of the party £355 had been raised.

In addition a raffle raised £179 for Sheeplands chosen charities, which are Pancreatic Cancer Action and Twyford Charities Together.

Twyford Village Partnership, Home Instead Senior Care, Age Concern, Hare Hatch Sheeplands, the Spend it in Twyford group and many village shops, pubs and businesses are all supporting the campaign.

Instigator Paul Westgarth, from the in home care service, Home Instead Senior Care, explained ”We want to provide elderly people with a gift from the community to show that we value them. Our target is to raise enough money to provide 100 hampers and have 100 guests at a tea party on December 19.

“The community is coming together in a big way to support this effort. Volunteers from Twyford Village Partnership, Home Instead and Hare Hatch Sheeplands will distribute the hampers. Age Concern the local churches and the doctors’ surgery are helping identify appropriate people and Loddon Taxis will help ferry guests to the party”

Gordon Holmes, centre manager for Age Concern in Twyford added: “Christmas is such a special time for our seniors and the fact that we can contribute to this special event is wonderful, and all thanks to the generosity of the community”.

Andrea Burlingham from the garden centre said: “The party was a wonderful way to kick off the campaign with the ice skating rink proving a hugely popular attraction.

“It’s a real community effort and over the next few weeks villagers can put their loose change into one of over 40 collection pots in various locations, or remove a gift tag from our Christmas tree and use it to pledge a fixed amount of money into the campaign fund.”

Money will continue to be collected until 18 December.

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