Things all took off in the early 1990’s when a young pupil from Ashcott Primary School was diagnosed with the childhood form of Leukaemia. Peoples concern was understandably for the child but also for the parents and close family members.
When a family find themselves in such circumstances there are a whole number of issues which confront them and the disruption to normal family life immediately evident.
CLIC Sargent as it is now known helps to ease some of these concerns and tries to eliminate them where possible making this bumpy ride a little easier to bear.
Lyn Harvey came up with an ingenious but simple way of raising funds for CLIC Sargent – hence the Christmas Card Delivery Scheme was born.
People from the village wishing to participate, bring their Christmas cards to a collection point on the Batch, clearly named and addressed for their family and friends living within the boundaries of Ashcott and Pedwell. The cards are then taken away, sorted and safely delivered to their destination within 48 hrs of collection. In exchange for this service a donation is made to the charity.
In the early days a small donation of £1 was requested from each person but as the years have progressed peoples knowledge of the work the charity does for these victims of such a dreadful illness has widened and peoples generosity with it. For many years running parallel with this collection monies have also been raised from the annual carol singing around the village, originally instigated by Freda Prime. This evening of traditional Christmas carols and a jovial sing song round the village by local villagers still continues with funds collected being combined with money raised from the Christmas card delivery scheme.
Over the last 20 years or so in access of £10,000 has been raised by Ashcott people for CLIC Sargent and sent to the local CLIC branch in Bristol. Amongst many ways the families are helped CLIC Sargent makes arrangements for families to have accommodation so as to be close to their children undergoing treatment. Also offering all round care and support and being there every step of the way, in hospital and at home. They give specialist social care in the community for young people organising holidays and grants.
This is such a worthwhile scheme that I would like to encourage anyone who hasn’t yet joined in to give it a try next Christmas.
I took over the organising from Lyn in Christmas 1999, and have continued to the present time. Here’s hoping it continues to flourish for many years to come helping more vulnerable children and their families.
Sue Wilton – Oct 2012