The charity FareShare is working with the Tesco store in Alresford to ensure that food which is no longer suitable for sale is distributed around the local community to people who can benefit from it. Basically, the food has reached its ‘sell by date’, and is surplus to their requirements. FareShare and Tesco wish to see that this food is not wasted, but distributed to anyone who needs it.
Various local community groups have undertaken to distribute the food according to FareShare principles. Two of the first organisations to sign up in Alresford were the Giles Group and the ADCA, the Alresford & District Community Association. The Giles Group is arranging to distribute the surplus Tesco food which is available on Tuesday mornings, from their ‘drop-in’ coffee morning held every week in the Community Centre from 1030 until noon. Any food remaining is then delivered to the Makins Court Common Room at around 1230. On Fridays, the food available from Tesco is distributed to those who attend the ADCA coffee morning, also held in the Community Centre.
The Giles Group’s objective is to provide people in Alresford who have a disability of any form with a place to discuss problems and find sympathetic advice from people who have faced similar problems. It also acts as a meeting place for the members, who gather once a month for an afternoon, to exchange ideas and listen to visiting speakers – who often represent organisations that are relevant to the disabled in the town. Problems experienced by the members are collected, and referred to the local Council when relevant: such things as better road crossings, repairs to broken pavements and installation of dropped kerbs have been positive results. The Group also provides a source for locating mobility aids, fluorescent jackets and items for help around the house. In co-operation with the Alresford Pigs and others, mobility aids like Zimmer frames, wheelchairs, ‘Rollator’ walkers and even mobility scooters are regularly re-cycled amongst the Giles membership.
After 23 years working for the disabled in the town, the Giles Group is delighted to have been awarded the Alresford Society’s Silver Salver Award for 2018, in recognition of the assistance provided to the community over this time. Founder member, Tessa Purkiss, attended the recent AGM of the Alresford Society to receive the award from their Chairman, Jan Field. Tessa was accompanied by Clive Earthy, a long term member of the Giles Committee, and the current Treasurer. Clive and Tessa stressed that Giles membership is open to anyone who feels they could benefit, and is only run for the benefit of the members – currently 35 in total. New members are always welcome. Membership is only £15 a year, as the Group receives some external support – e.g. from the NATC and from occasional donations.