Weekly Community Roundup – 17th January 2020

All the fun of the fair

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On Saturday 14th December Dawe Brothers Funeral Directors in Ledbury hosted their first Christmas Fair. The event which was in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice and Dream Your Future Counselling project.

With glitter face painting, tombola, table top sales and the owl lady, Lady Sasa, the event was the talk of the town and well supported by the local community.

Funeral Arranger Justin Hydes said: “We raised £200 for the charities and I was told everyone, young and old had a lovely day. We will be looking to replicate this success in 2020”

Remembering Wojtek the ‘Soldier Bear’- World War Two’s Animal Hero

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The theme for Remembrance Day 2019 was ‘Working Together’. Funeral Arrangers Helen and Tee decided to do just that by building a replica of the battle scene at Monte Cassino as part of their window display at the Salisbury branch featuring a very unusual soldier.

Wojtek was a Syrian brown bear bought, as a young cub, at a railway station in Hamadan, Iran, by Polish II Corps soldiers who had been evacuated from the Soviet Union. In order to provide for his rations and transportation, he was eventually enlisted officially as a soldier with the rank of private, and was subsequently promoted to corporal.

He accompanied the bulk of the II Corps to Italy, serving with the 22nd Artillery Supply Company. During the Battle of Monte Cassino, in Italy in 1944, Wojtek helped move crates of ammunition and became a celebrity with visiting Allied generals and statesmen. After the war Wojtek lived out the rest of his life at the Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland.

At the Wilton branch they celebrated Land Girls and Lumber Jill’s.  Edith Olivier who was one of the founders lived in Wilton.  Helen’s Grandmother Alice Edwards served in the Timber Corps of the Women’s’ Land Army as a ‘Lumber Jill’ and kindly loaned her medals, badges and membership card for the display.

Remembrance Day is a day upon which we remember the sacrifices made by our Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside us and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two World Wars and later conflicts.

The gift of giving

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Funeral Arranger Jacqui Williams and Funeral Director Jo Gardiner from Abbotsfield Funeral Directors in Hereford supplied food to Hereford food bank and gifts to those living at Henffordd Gardens, a retirement housing scheme in Hereford shortly before Christmas 2019.

Jacqui and Jo collected food items from members of the public on behalf of the food bank and also passed on a donation of around 150 bananas to help those in need to benefit from some fresh fruit.

Hampers were gifted to 15 of the residents at Henffordd Gardens with no family and were made up by volunteers at Hereford food bank, they included all little touches for Christmas with biscuits, chocolates, chutneys, teas, coffees, and toiletries.

Jacqui and Jo were not short of Christmas spirit during their community gifting spree, even donning elf costumes to add some extra magic and sparkle to the day.

Jacqui said: “We have to say we had a huge warm welcome and especially enjoyed the bingo. We have been asked back next year to help with their community activities. We turned those having a bad week into a very memorable time. To say it was a huge honour to put a smile on these ladies and gentleman’s faces is an understatement.

The next project is an appeal for wicker baskets of any shape or size to help the food bank produce their amazing hampers.