Spotlight Christmas Toy Appeal

Please donate toys for 8-11 year old’s to bring a little happiness to local children!

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The “Sitting with Jane” bench winner is…..!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

Congratulations to all of the winners!!!!

But I think ALL of the children are winners!!!!

EVERYONE will be invited to the “opening ceremony” whenever I get that organised, and the 1st prize winner will be the “face” of the campaign.

Thank you VERY much to everyone who entered the competition!!!!!!!!

We ARE keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in Basingstoke! WHOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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We ARE keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in Basingstoke! WHOOOOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When the first 12 Lot’s (benches) started bidding at £3000 my first thought was “ah well, at least we’ve raised £1000 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity“.

My second thought was “PHEW!! I don’t need to work out what happens next if we win one!!!” Hahaha.

Then, Lot 13, “Girl Power” came on the screen and they started playing the Spice Girls in the background.

And I started to get a tingly feeling in my tummy…

The bidding started at £3K. Then it dropped to £2K. And then it dropped to £1K and I felt my hand shoot up into the air, with the bidding paddle.

Now, it’s a huge responsibility to bid with other people’s money and there was a LOT of expectation. Running a campaign like this is a huge honour and privilege, one which I don’t take lightly.

I was shaking ALL night.

Several of the benches raised £7K and I felt a teeeennny tiny bit out of my league.

Had it not been for Sue, Rachel and Cathy who came with me, I would have been a dribbling mess on the floor.

And then the Auctioneer said, “anymore bids?”…”Anymore?”…

Sue and Rachel were sat next to me and were clutching my arms and I LITERALLY didn’t breathe for about 5 minutes. At least that’s what it felt like.

“Going once”….

“Going twice”…..

And somebody put in a bid at £1250.

GUTTED!!!!!

And that was it.

I thought it was all over.

I think I literally sagged in my chair.

I heard someone behind me bid for £1500. Then the bidding closed.

And then I got a text.

From Laura at The Topiary, who was sat at the back of the auction.

We had a conversation in the week that we would collaborate if things got a bit hairy in the auction and it didn’t look like either of us would get a chance of getting one.

And in her text it said “I’ll give you the £500”. “You can have it xxx”.

So, we got it!

“Girl Power”.

(Not the best pictures as I was STILL shaking at this point. However, I expect to see far better pictures of this bench in the future! lol).

Thank you!!!!

I need to say a HUGE thank you to the following people, without whom we never would have stood a chance.

My beloved husband, Mr NHM, whose encouragement and belief in my “crazy” ideas is never ending.

Sue – who took Miss NHM and I to see our first bench at the Walled Garden and got me caught up in this whole thing!! Your friendship and unfailing support means so much to me.

Rebecca at The Typeface Group who has been so supportive along this whole journey and who kept me going when I got back from holiday at the end of August and I thought I’d lost momentum.

Mark at The Ark for his brilliant support, enthusiasm and encouragement and Michelle for her wonderful support!!

Steve and Charlotte at Festival Place for their support and encouragement.

All of the NHM Ladies who believed we could do it and donated:  Wendy, CathyW, Lilian, LauraE, Zoe, Cathy, Karen, Lisa, Helen, Gisella, LauraW, Juliet, Emma, Sue, Sally, Mary, Sarah, Allison, Ceri, Katie, SueS, Victoria, Julie, Rebecca, Jules, Eleanor, Pauline, Michele, Jaz, Rachel, Natasha, Stephany, Kath, Sharon, Sarah, Claire, BeckyT, Lisa, Emily, Pam, Cat, Lyndsey, Rebecca H, Stephanie, Gillian. Thank you!!! You are ALL AWESOME!!!!!

Everyone who entered the competition and helped to raised the profile of the campaign. All of the children looked FANTASTIC!!!!

Mike O’Neil at Action Trophies for his very generous donation.

Nicky from Ma Humbugs Old Fashioned Sweet Shop for her generous donation.

John from Tidal Bay Crazy Adventure Golf for his VERY generous donation (£250!!!) about 30 minutes before the event started. STREEEESSSFFULLLL!!!!! Hahaha

Laura from The Topiary for her INCREDIBLE donation and without whom we never would have stood a chance of getting the bench.

Apologies if there is anyone whom I’ve missed off. I’ve barely slept a wink! lol.

What happens next?

Although I had a very strong feeling that we would get a bench, I hadn’t quite sorted out any of the details about what happens if we actually did!! lol.

I am looking to donate the bench to somewhere that people can still access the bench and where it will be indoors so that it lasts for a very long time. If you have any sensible suggestions please do let me know at NorthHantsMum@gmail.com.

Otherwise it’s going on my Mum’s front drive! 😀 😀 :-D.

Also, if you know of anyone who might be able to help me move the bench as it needs to be removed by Monday (18th September 2017), please do get in touch!!!! (Update: Thank you VERY much to JV Bouncy Castle who very kindly donated their time, muscles and van to move the bench from Laura’s garage to the Discovery centre!) 

Update July 2018: The bench is now on permanent display for everyone to sit on, at the Basingstoke Discovery Centre in the downstairs lobby area.

Still no plaque though. I’ve given up asking when they will put it up :-(.

Finally

I would really love to get a little plaque for the bench which will say:

“I dedicate this bench to all of the Mums, and their children, in North Hampshire”.

We did it.

Thank you!

You are all AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xx

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Keeping a “Sitting with Jane” bench in BASINGSTOKE!!!

Have you seen the “Sitting with Jane” benches that have been dotted all over Basingstoke and local areas in the past month?

Wouldn’t it be AWESOME if we could crowd fund one of them to stay in Basingstoke? So we could show our children that we all did something AMAZING together?

The NorthHantsMum Community and anyone else who would like to be involved, are working hard to raise money for one of the “Sitting with Jane” benches to stay in one of the local parks, maybe War Memorial or Eastrop Park, depending on whether Basingstoke and Deane council agree.

I am hoping the bench will be used by lots of people but also as a safe place where Mum’s can meet other Mum’s and children can meet other children. How cool would that be!!!!

(Crowd funding means that the money is only taken at the end of the 30 days, IF the project goes ahead. However, I’ve made the executive decision that ALL donations that are made will still go to the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, even if we aren’t successful in our bid.)

The NorthHantsMum Bench – June 2016

At the end of June 2016, just after the Brexit announcement, I had several friends who were struggling with certain aspects of their life.

I posted up the following status on my “Louise nhm Smith” profile and was completely blown away by the positive feedback that came back: “Good Afternoon Everyone! I have several “Mum” friends who are struggling at the moment. I don’t know if it’s because of the weather or the Brexit result or even England being out of the football, but if you are struggling at the moment, I want to send you a MASSIVE hug and ask you to reach out to someone and tell them. Don’t suffer in silence. Being a Mum is REALLY hard work at the best of times, but even harder when, for example, your baby has colic or the ground floor of your house has been flooded or you are on your knees with exhaustion. Somehow though, knowing that there are other Mum’s who are highly sympathetic, it makes it easier to get through. If you are struggling to find someone who will listen to you, let me know and I will see if I can help in whatever ways I can. Massive hugs to anyone who is struggling at the mo.”

That night I was chatting to Mr NHM about how I want to do something tangible to support local Mum’s and he came up with the idea of having a “Mum bench” in either Eastrop Park or the War Memorial Park.

It was such a brilliant idea and I started campaigning straight away. But a week or two later Miss NHM became quite seriously ill and that took over everything for nearly a year of our lives.

When my friend Sue mentioned about the “Sitting with Jane” bench trail at the beginning of August 2017, I didn’t really get it until we went to see the Walled Garden bench and the children LOVED it!

Then a few days later I had a spine tingling moment and thought about how awesome it would be if we could raise some money to keep one of the benches in Basingstoke after the trail closed, for everyone to use whilst raising money for an amazing cause…

So it’s all Mr NHM’s fault really! lol.

Donate

You can donate here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/louise-northhantsmum

All money raised will go towards the Ark Cancer Centre Charity, regardless of whether we are successful with our bid.

Even if you can only donate £1, this will go towards the bid for a chair at the auction will be taking place on Friday 15th September.

Every time someone makes a donation towards the campaign, I will post up a picture to NorthHantsMum FB Page of a local child sitting on one of the benches with the amount of the donation.

If you would like your child to be featured as part of the campaign, please email me their picture to NorthHantsMum@gmail.com, with some words that say you are their parent and are happy for their picture to be used.

Everyone who donates towards the bench will also have their name listed in this post and hopefully somewhere on the bench, although I don’t quite know how that will work yet! (If you would like your last name to be included, just to let me know).

If you are sponsoring as a business, a link to your business will also be included in this post.

This is going to be an AWESOME way for the community to come together to raise funds to keep a little bit of heritage right here in our town.

Everyone who has donated towards the bench…

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

Laura from The Topiary for her INCREDIBLE donation and without whom we never would have stood a chance of getting the bench.

Mike O’Neil at Action Trophies for his very generous donation.

Nicky from Ma Humbugs Old Fashioned Sweet Shop for her generous donation.

John from Tidal Bay Crazy Adventure Golf for his VERY generous donation about 30 minutes before the event started. STREEEESSSFFULLLL!!!!! Hahaha

Wendy D

Cathy W

Lilian K

LauraE,

Zoe

Cathy

Karen

Lisa

Helen

Gisella

LauraW

Juliet

Emma

Sue

My Mum

Sally

Mary

Sarah

Allison

Ceri

Katie

SueS

Victoria

Julie

Rebecca

Jules

Eleanor

Pauline

Michele

Jaz

Rachel

Natasha

Stephany C

Kath R

Sharon

Sarah

Claire

BeckyT

Lisa

Emily

Pam

Cat

Lyndsey

Rebecca H

Stephanie

Gillian

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Disability Charity Garden Opening at Colemore House, Alton, Hampshire Saturday 17th June 2-6pm

Unique, the rare chromosome disorder charity is holding an Open Garden and meet and greet with staff and trustees at renowned National Garden Scheme garden in Colemore, Alton, East Hampshire this coming on Saturday 17th June.
The Open Garden will be marking the worldwide Chromosome Disorder Awareness Week as well as being a chance to see a beautifully designed garden with lots of interesting planting, garden rooms, borders and water features in an idyllic part of Hampshire countryside.  Children are of course welcome.
Unique is a charity that does wonderful work advising and helping families who have a child with a rare chromosome disorder. Unique helps families with information and support with the many medical and developmental issues that can be caused by rare chromosome disorders.
Unique CEO and genetics expert Dr Beverly Searle and garden owners Noni and Simon de Zoete will be on hand on Saturday 17 June 2-6pm with information on their garden, the work of Unique and perhaps most importantly a great selection of cakes and tea as well as plants to buy.
Tickets are £5 for adults and can be bought on the day or in advance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/colemore-house-open-garden-for-unique-tickets-34118393032.
More details and photos of the garden attached.
Please do share this with any friends who might be interested – whether families of children with special needs and disabilities or keen open garden visitors.
We look forward to seeing you!
Sophie
Sophie Sainty
Unique Trustee
Mob 07801233207
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NHM Readers: Companies to sponsor a child

I recently asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook if they could help as I have been thinking about sponsoring a disadvantaged child for a while and wondered if anyone already did it and if they do, which companies they recommend.

These were the responses I received. They are in no particular order. Thank you to Shona for putting this post together! 

NHM Readers recommend charities to sponsor children

Tarran said: I used to sponsor a little boy in Kenya, called Michael. this was with Plan UK.

Liz said: I use Plan UK, you get updates from the child and family. We choose a child the same age as our daughter, we recently received a picture from her which was lovely 🙂

Christa said: I sponsor a little girl in Ethiopia through world vision and get regular updates and photos. X

Gillian said: We sponsor a little boy in Haiti with compassion uk also a little girl in Uganda with amigos ????

Murshida said:  I sponsored 2 kids World vision and Plan UK are both very good!

Samantha said: Hi, I have just started sponsoring a little boy in Kenya through ‘Compassion’. X

Jessica said: I sponsor a little girl in Kenya through a charity called Awaken Love

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Top Tip: What to do with your old cot mattress!

Thank you to Shona for putting together this post!!!

NHM readers suggested uses for old cot mattresses

I asked the Friends of  my “Louise nhm Smith” profile on Facebook What did you do with your cot mattress when you didn’t need it any more?  I don’t really want to dump it but I’m sure you can’t recycle mattresses. Seems such a waste to take it to the tip”.  Thank you very much to everyone who responded, here are the suggestions:

Please note, these are in no particular order!

1. Animal Rescue Centres

Karen suggested trying animal rescue centres as they sometimes take them and use them as beds.

2. Re-use / Upcycle

(Suggested by Poppy, Karen, Susan, Michelle and Karen)

If you have the room to keep them then old mattresses are great for a selection of uses, such as:

  • To get out for the kids to jump on when they feel the urge to jump on the sofa or bed
  • A spare bed for when you have friends staying over with little ones or for camping trips
  • As a base for tent/den making
  • Smaller mattresses (such as moses basket mattresses) make great bathroom or garden kneelers
  • Recover and use as a window seat cushion

3. Send out to Romania

Vicki suggested contacting Ruth at Christ Church Chineham as she arranges for old mattresses to be sent out to Romania.

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2016!!!

I am sooooo excited to be able to announce the Christmas Food Boxes appeal again this year for Basingstoke Voluntary Action.

The NorthHantsMum Community have been involved in this appeal since it started three years ago and I’m VERY proud of how much we’ve been able to help!

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2016

Over the last 3 years Basingstoke Voluntary Action (BVA) have distributed nearly 1000 Christmas food boxes to individuals across the borough who are living with the effects of poverty, social isolation, or vulnerably housed, as well as food and tents, winter equipment and clothes for around 75 individual people who are sleeping rough.

Over 500 of these were distributed last year alone, showing what can be achieved when communities are motivated and united for such a worthwhile local cause.

The food box appeal has grown year on year, and become a huge undertaking. This means we need as much help as we can get to ensure 2016 is another successful year.

Basingstoke Irish Society have generously offered us room at Basingstoke Irish Centre to accept donations, and storage space to use as a hub for this year’s food drive.

We will be accepting donations between

Monday 18 November  – Friday 16 December 2016

Basingstoke Irish Centre

Council Rd, Basingstoke RG21 3DH

Please contact natascha.shepherd@bvaction.org.uk to arrange delivery of donations or to discuss volunteering.

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Last year’s appeal benefitted recipients identified by a broad range of local charities and support agencies, including:

·         HCC Learning Disabilities team

·         HCC Children’s Services Team

·         Mencap

·         Bridge Centre

·         Opcis

·         Neighbourcare

·         Youth Offending Team

·         Hampshire Wellbeing

·         Two Saints Ltd

 

·         May Place

·         Jacobs House

·         The Camrose Centre

·         YMCA

·         MaD (teenage parents)

·         Young Carers

·         Citizens Advice

·         YouTrust

·         Homegroup

·         Mary Rose Court

·         Community Furniture Project

·         Trinity

 

“I would like to say a massive thank you to BVA for the hard work they have put in arranging food boxes this year. I have taken around 30 & delivered them to clients that were not expecting anything – all were very grateful for the thought & the generosity of people”

Home Group

“Without donations such as these, Trinity would not be able to provide the same level of service to our clients, and we are so grateful that you thought of us.”

Trinity

“Basingstoke Voluntary Action do some fantastic work to help the community and I’m thrilled AWE staff have been able to contribute to such a worthy cause.”

AWE

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Why not make it a team challenge?

Last year local companies competed internally to fill the most boxes, bands got together and held a concert, and local schools had non-uniform days!

There are two ways anyone can help:

Option 1 – Christmas Food Box for refuges, hostels and underprivileged families

  1. Take a photocopying paper box and lid
  2. Wrap box and lid separately in Christmas wrapping paper
  3. Fill it up with food for Christmas, selecting from following suggested items:
  • Tins of ham or chicken
  • Tins of new potatoes
  • Tins of carrots, garden peas
  • Tin or pouch of long life quality casserole meal
  • Dessert such as custard, mince pies, Christmas Cake,
  • Luxury biscuits, chocolates/selection box
  • Tea/ coffee/cocoa
  • Snacks such as crackers, twiglets, savoury twists, nibbles.
  1. Box all food up
  2. Email to arrange delivery; In some cases, or where large donations are concerned we may be able to collect donations
  3. We will donate them to the worthy causes and centres in the Basingstoke and Deane area

You can find detailed instructions on how to build your box at the following post about the 2014 Christmas food boxes on NorthHantsMum.

Option 2 – Donations of food and items to be distributed to homeless centres and hostels, can be from the list above or any of these:

  • Food items such as cup soups/noodles, tea bags, coffee (any food bags you can add hot water to); ring-pull tins of hot dogs, ravioli, stews, rice puddings; high energy protein/cereal bars; chocolate biscuits/sweets/small selection boxes, multipack crisp/snacks
  • Equipment such as warm hats, scarves, gloves, socks, jumpers, coats; unwanted rucksacks or draw string bags; wind-up torches, sleeping bags, thermos flasks/cups; sturdy boots/shoes, toiletries
  • Please note we cannot accept any donations of alcohol or food containing alcohol

We also need empty photocopy paper boxes, donations of sticky tape, wrapping paper and volunteers to help sort items, wrap, pack and distribute boxes – if you have any free time and would like to join us we would love to hear from you!!

Finally, many companies in previous years have donated money to help with winter food box appeals. If you would like to do this please make cheques payable to Basingstoke Voluntary Action and clearly write on the back Christmas Appeal

Please note that due to the change in venue this year we cannot guarantee response to phone messages. For all Food Box related enquiries please email natascha.shepherd@BVAction.org.uk.

You can also support BVA by “Like-ing” their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BasingstokeVA/?fref=ts

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Ready Emmy Walk!

Carly has been a long time supporter of NHM and has been following pretty much since the beginning.

I had no idea that this was going on for her family, so I’m going to do what I can to help them. Any charity donations that are made at the NHM Spring Expo will go towards Ready Emmy Walk.

Here is Emmy’s story:

Ready Emmy Walk!

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We are a family of four from Lychpit in Basingstoke. We have a five year old daughter called Isla and a two year old daughter called Emmy.

We are currently trying to raise £85,000 to fund Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) – a life changing spinal operation to help Emmy walk.

Emmy was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia at 20 months old. She has a type of brain damage called Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) which was caused in the womb, which is where her story really begins. Emmy has been through such a lot in her short life already…

Emmy is an identical twin. At 23 weeks gestation, I developed acute Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome (TTTS) and had an emergency laser ablation surgery on my placenta. The laser surgery was the only hope that both our daughters would survive.

Three days after the emergency surgery, we found out that one of our daughter’s hearts had stopped beating. In the doctor’s next breath, they also told us that this most likely meant that our surviving daughter would have some form of brain damage, due to an interruption in the blood flow to her brain when her sister died.

Emmy was born suddenly at 32 weeks gestation (8 weeks prematurely). She was immediately whisked away from us to the neonatal intensive care unit and we said goodbye to her twin sister, Ava, who was born sleeping.

Emmy’s Cerebral Palsy causes increased muscle tone in her legs and feet which makes them constantly stiff. This affects her balance and coordination, making simple things such as crawling, cruising and even sitting up harder for her. Emmy is not yet able to stand or walk independently.

There isn’t a cure for Cerebral Palsy, but there is a life changing surgery available called SDR which is a special technique that involves cutting some of the damaged sensory nerve fibres which are causing the muscle stiffness. SDR is the only surgical procedure that permanently eliminates the spasticity in the legs. Spasticity causes a lot of pain, and over time, shortening of muscles and tendons, joints contractures and bone deformities. Without SDR, Emmy would face multiple orthopaedic operations, Botox treatment and leg casting throughout her life and would ultimately need a wheelchair.

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The results from SDR are simply incredible and children that were told they would never walk are not only walking, they are running, jumping and dancing too.

Emmy is the most determined, funny, cheeky, messy and loving two year old you could ever meet. When she falls over, she gets straight back up and tries again with a huge smile on her face. We couldn’t be more proud of her.

SDR is not funded on the NHS. However in the United States, DR T.S. Park has performed over 3,000 operations and people from all over the world have travelled to St. Louis for this treatment with him.

The money we raise will go towards the costs of the surgery, travel and accommodation, post-operative intensive physiotherapy and and the equipment Emmy will require for her rehabilitation.

Our family’s dream is to see Emmy doing the simple things in life that are often taken for granted – walking alongside her big sister, playing in the park and jumping in muddy puddles like her favourite character, Peppa Pig!

We have a series of challenges and events planned this year to help raise as much money as possible.

We keep our supporters up to date on our Facebook Page – www.facebook.com/readyemmywalkand twitter account @readyemmywalk.

If you would like any further information or would like to join in with the fundraising, please don’t hesitate to contact us at readyemmywalk@gmail.com

We will be fundraising through Just4Children (registered charity no: 11644773). Just4Children will securely hold all of Emmy’s funds and pay all invoices directly.

Thank you

Carly and family x

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Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2015!!!!

Last year was the first year that I was involved with the Christmas Food Box appeal and it was one of my highlights of 2014. Thank you to everyone who donated!

NHM Readers did an AMAZING job putting together the Christmas boxes and contributing donations.

Details of how you can donate this year and the dates for donations are at the bottom this post and if anyone has a spare photocopier box, can you let me know ;-).

For details of what to include in the boxes please have a look at last year’s post which has a great explanation: Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2014.

Let’s see if we can make it an even BIGGER number than last year :-D.

Christmas Food Boxes for Basingstoke 2015

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Each year Basingstoke Voluntary Action appeals to individuals, businesses and organisations to join us in providing Christmas Food Boxes for those less fortunate than ourselves, and who would benefit enormously from a little extra at Christmas time. The response last year was staggering, and through the generosity of our community we were able to supply refuges, families and homeless centres in Basingstoke and Deane with Food Boxes filled with Christmas goodies.

It’s that time again, and we would like to invite you to join this worthwhile project. consider if you, your group or organisation could donate any food, food boxes (a box between your group would be amazing!), or additional items to help a homeless person. Last year we were able to distribute an impressive and much appreciated 302 boxes and 46 rough sleeper packs to people for whom this time of year really is a struggle – this is a fantastic way of making a huge difference, especially in these difficult times!

Why not make it a team challenge?

Last year local companies competed internally to fill the most boxes, bands got together and held a concert, and local schools had non-uniform days!

We also need empty photocopy paper boxes, donations of sticky tape, wrapping paper and volunteers to help sort items, wrap, pack and distribute boxes – if you have any free time and would like to join us between Monday the 7th and Tuesday 22nd of December we would love to hear from you!!

Finally, many companies in previous years have donated money to help with winter food box appeals. If you would like to do this please contact Admin@BVAction.org.uk or make cheques payable to Basingstoke Voluntary Action and clearly write on the back Christmas Appeal. 

Please note we cannot accept any donations of alcohol or food containing alcohol

We will gratefully accept donations from Monday 30th November, between 9am and 4.00 pm. Please deliver any food or items by Monday 14th December to Basingstoke Voluntary Action, The Orchard, White Hart Lane, Basingstoke RG21 4AF, or call us to arrange a collection.

All queries, please contact Natascha Shepherd: 01256 423816 or email Admin@BVAction.org.uk

Many thanks from all of us at BVA!

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