Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

Community Volunteers – can you help?

For those recently retired, or anyone wishing to volunteer to help the less able-bodied in Alresford, the Giles Group of Alresford is seeking help for one or two days a month, assisting people at their meetings or on their Minibus outings. The group ( organises a monthly talk in the Community Centre, and a monthly outing in the town Minibus, for old, infirm or otherwise disabled/lonely people in the town.

The current organisers are also getting old, and need some help in shepherding the visitors onto the Minibus, handing out teas, organising tables and chairs, fastening seat belts etc. The meetings are held on the second Monday in the month, in the afternoon, and the Minibus trips, to a garden centre, or a market, or a café on the coast (in the good weather) are on the third Monday in the month, again in the afternoon.

The Giles Group has around 35 members, with maybe 30 attending the meetings regularly, and 13 is the minibus capacity for the outings. Volunteer drivers are already available driving the bus, both to collect people for the meeting in the Community Centre, and on the outings.

If you would be able to help, please come along and see what we do, what help is needed, and how such events can be so useful for the Community. Or call Nick on 734824, with any questions!  Thankyou


Pigs Duck Race photos

The 2017 Alresford Pigs Duck Race was held last Sunday thanks to the generosity of George and Janette Hollingbery and family, at the Weir House in Old Alresford. It was a scorching day, so as ever the Pigs worked hard to gather lots of Gazebos to provide as much shelter as possible on the lawn by the river.

The whole event was basically a great big party, with entertainment from the Alresford Ukulele Band, the Duck Racing, Tombola and Scalextrics car racing stands, plus a Bouncy Castle for the kids. And a bar for the Dads, because it was Father’s Day after all.

It was a lot of work, but a good way to thank the Community for their support to the Pigs Charity over the last two years. You can see the Pigs at work in the photos below, but this was of course before the bar opened……



Being Father’s Day, the kids were still working….


But the lawn looked pretty full up with Gazebos for shelter


and chairs everywhere.


The Ukulele Band started up, with help….


Although the Dads were going strong


And the audience liked it


Some people did the 10k run, and then had a beer, , which was maybe a bit too much on a hot day…..


The rest enjoyed themselves, and the band, and the ice cream.


Placing a bet for the first time is a big thing, so you need help from an older sister, or friend.


But you have to make your own decision.


That decision is a bit more difficult the older you get….


But it doesn’t look like the bookies know much about it all


Well, the Ducks have set off, in a crowd.


Most seem to be wanting to go backwards…


But one has been seen going forwards, backwards.


There they go.


Even if you don’t care about the races, it is still a good day…..

If you know someone who might qualify for help from the local community funds donated to the Alresford Pigs, please contact us and tell us about them. We support those in the Community who need help, that the community would wish to support. We have been operating for over 40 years, and raise over £10,000 a year, which is all used to help the community.


Muck For Sale!

Once again Alresford Young Farmers are delivering well rotted muck from a local beef farm, high in potassium and phosphates, that are crucial for growing healthy plants.

Muck will be delivered in a large tractor on Sunday 19 February, between 0900 and 1400.

Price is £3/bag, £5/barrow load, all delivered to your door in and around Alresford. Larger quantities can be made available….

Half the proceeds go to the Alresford YFC, the other half to the YFC chosen charity for 2017: the Murray Parish Trust.

Order in advance please by phone to 0753 119 3468, or email to

Trips on the Alison MacGregor

It was the longest day of the year, 20 June, when the Alresford Giles Group monthly outing went out on the Alison MacGregor launch, from Hythe, for a trip around the Solent, which in this case meant around the docks in Southampton and up the River Itchen for a look round there. Despite the rain all morning, which made two with faint hearts drop out, the weather was marvellous, and no-one got wet, even from the spray. The Giles Group ( is just one of several organisations in Alresford who take advantage of this charity run boat trip, and the Thursday Lunch Club and Ellingham residents have also organised similar trips, using the Town Minibus, which is just the right size, as the Alison MacGregor can only take 12 passengers.


The Alresford Town Minibus set off early to meet the boat by 2pm, and after a little messing about in the Marina we managed to find a toilet with disabled access, in the Marina Restaurant: many thanks to them for opening up for us specially! Then we set off out of the lock gates, although since the tide was in there was not much change in water level. This made the trip all the better, as we could see more on the docksides – which mainly was taken up with thousands of cars, Minis and Range Rovers, being exported in big car transporters.


Some of the car transporters being loaded

DSCN3521      DSCN3536

Cars awaiting export on Southampton Docks, and a new Hovercraft, which was later that week announced as the latest vessel to be purchased for the Portsmouth to IOW run.

You have to wonder how leaving the EU will affect the traffic in and out of the port – but there were a lot of JCB excavators as well, and JCB were one of the companies supporting the ‘Out’ campaign. Other notable items being prepared for export shipping were several large wind turbine blades, which the skipper described as ‘the last ones made on the Isle of Wight’, as production had been transferred to Norway – or maybe it was Sweden.


View of the port from Hythe

The commentary from the skipper describing the passing sights was really useful in understanding what we could see: whether it was related to the history of the port, or the old ships now being restored and used for pleasure trips, or the new docks for the large cruise liners – filled that day with yet another car transporter. Apparently these big ships with their multiple decks of cars get unloaded and loaded up again within 24 hours! The new cruise ship embarkation building has the old Calshot Spit light vessel on the rear of the dock: other old restored vessels were also moored around the harbour, and still offer pleasure trips – one example is the Shieldhall sludge boat from Glasgow, now cleaned – and fumigated!

DSCN3506     DSCN3487

Everyone enjoyed the trip, and, as a result of all that fresh air, all fell asleep on the Minibus on the way back, except for the driver: we arrived back home in time for tea, well refreshed by an afternoon on the water!


The Hythe Marina, where the Alison MacGregor is berthed.


This story about the Giles Group trip on the Alison MacGregor around Southampton Docks and Hythe had an interesting follow up! Just as we were returning to Hythe Marina, a very smart “Superyacht” was seen moving up Southampton Water into the Port area, between two tugs.


The picture I took of this Superyacht, called the “Lady A”, was spotted on FlickR by Charl van Rooy, Editor of the SuperYacht Times: he has now supplied links to two stories that his magazine has published, explaining that this yacht, which is owned by Lord Sugar, had probably just emerged from a 9-month refit and repaint at Burgess Marine, a shipyard in Portchester.

The links are

Obviously when the Lady A passed our launch, it was on a delivery journey after this refit, so that Lord Sugar could collect it, in its new colour scheme. The 55 metre yacht was originally built in 1986.




Alresford Defibrillator Scheme Explained

The Alresford Community Cardiac Defibrillator Scheme has been established as the direct result of an initiative suggested to the Alresford Pigs, who established a committee led by Chris Lillywhite of Alresford Pigs and Dr Peter Stokes from the Alresford Surgery. The scheme is operating in co-operation with the Community HeartBeat Trust, a national charity focused on the provision of life saving defibrillation services to local communities or groups, working with the local ambulance services (

During the Summer of 2015, seven defibrillators have been installed around Alresford and in Old Alresford, adding to the two other previous installations of similar units: an eighth new unit will be installed by the year end.

Why use a Defibrillator?

Inside the boxes at the various locations there is a simple, light weight “Automated External Defibrillator” (AED). This is a portable, light-weight battery powered electronic device that automatically diagnoses a patient who appears to have breathing difficulties or the symptoms of a possible heart attack. It looks for and analyses any life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias of ventricular fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia in a patient’s heart, and is able to treat them through defibrillation – the application of electrical therapy which helps stop the arrhythmia – thereby encouraging the heart to re-establish an effective rhythm.

Heart treatment, if needed, is most effective if applied very quickly after the patient shows the symptoms, particularly within the first ten minutes after the event, which is why multiple units are positioned around the town. Before it arrives, use chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. With simple audio and visual commands, AEDs are designed to be simple to use for the layperson. This device should be taken to any unconscious or semi-unconscious casualty: if the patient is diagnosed as not needing any heart rhythm treatment, the machine will not do anything, and will not hurt the patient.

DSCN2373 SH4aHow to open the box!

All the bright yellow boxes have a key-coded lock, and a Serial number stamped on the outside. By dialling 999 and asking for help, the Emergency Services will despatch an Ambulance immediately, and a first responder if possible. The operator will also provide the keycode to open the box at your nearest operational defibrillator, and tell you where it is. Hopefully you can send someone to this location, to collect the bag containing the AED, and rush this to the patient. While they do this, you should continue chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation alternately, to provide assistance while the equipment arrives.

The AED will give clear instructions for use by way of an audio-visual display panel, and really can be used without any previous training. However the Community HeartBeat Trust is planning to arrange local awareness sessions for those wishing to learn more: the first is on Saturday November 14th at the ARC, from 1000-1230.

Where are the new public access units?

(Click on the pictures to get a larger view)

DSCN2128 SH4aSun Hill School Entrance: This unit is on Sun Lane, at the top of the hill, outside the Sun Hill school gate. The Serial Number is CHT-14-1320, where presumably the CHT stands for Community Heartbeat Trust, the 14 is for the year 2014, when our project started, and this is unit 1320. This unit was financed by the Alresford Pigs.

DSCN2377 ABC3aAlresford Bowling Club: This unit is also on Sun Lane, at the gate giving entry to the Bowling Club, where the white lines on the road try to stop cars parking across the access. This unit was totally financed by the Bowling Club, but they have made it available for public use also. Serial Number is CHT-14-1319.

DSCN2379 CC1aAlresford Community Centre: Next to Lloyds Bank at the top of West Street, in the outside foyer of the Community Centre doorway, there is another unit, with Serial Number CHT-14-1325. This unit was financed by the Alresford Pigs.

DSCN2382 OA 7aOld Alresford Phone box: This unit is in the phone box beside the Village Green, on the Basingstoke Road. There is no phone in the phone box, it was disused, and Old Alresford Parish Council have retained it, and have financed the purchase and installation of the Defibrillator. Serial Number is CHT-14-1318.

DSCN2400 Cedar 8aCedar Veterinary Surgery: On New Farm Road, at the junction of Covey Way, Cedar Veterinary Surgery have allowed the unit to be installed at the front of their building, on the left corner. The Serial Number is CHT-14-1323. Defibrillators are not recommended for use on animals! This unit was financed by the Alresford Pigs.

DSCN2140 ARC 6aARC: The Alresford Recreation Centre on the Avenue has a unit installed at the left hand side of the building, by the door to the Visitor’s Changing Rooms. This is also available for public use, but was financed by significant contributions from the Alresford Rugby and Football Clubs and the Tennis Club, as well as the Alresford Recreational Centre Social Club. Serial Number is CHT-14-1322.

DSCN2395 SB 10aStratton Bates Recreation Ground: The Defibrillator here is installed on the Grange Road side of the building, at the back of the building, next to the rear door, and facing/visible from Grange Road. The Serial number is CHT-14-1324. This unit was financed by the Alresford Pigs.

DSCN2394 Linnets 9aLinnets Road: Hopefully to be installed before the end of 2015, another unit financed by the Alresford Pigs is planned for installation in the telephone box near the highest point of Linnets Road, on the path near the original two shops. The phone in this booth was vandalized, ie the handset was cut off, around a year or two ago, but BT did not think it worth replacing!


So the organizing committee approached BT and ownership has been re-allocated to them, for a nominal payment, for use as a Defibrillator housing! The new defibrillator was installed in February 2016, and is now operational: even the windows of the phone box have been cleaned up a bit! The phone booth now boasts a yellow and green Defibrillator sign facing the road. The Serial number is CHT-14-1321.

The Defibs need your help too!

The units are inspected every month, and any problems are sorted. But all the Defibrillators need annual maintenance, replacement of batteries and the adhesive pads supplied to attach to the patient, which costs around £80 per machine per annum. Your help is needed to raise this money to keep the service operating. Please help us keep these units operational, and donate something to our scheme now: please donate via the website, at


Other Alresford installations

Separate to the current 2015 scheme in Alresford, there are some other defibrillators around the town:

Alresford Surgery: Alresford Group Surgery in Station Road has a Defibrillator available for use on their patients: indeed to first such unit used at Alresford Surgery was donated by the Edward Pay Medical Fund. This defibrillator is part of the surgery’s equipment, and is not a public access unit. The Emergency Responders and the Emergency Ambulances also carry such equipment.

DSCN2410aAlresford Dental Care:

The dentist’s surgery on Pound Hill, known as Alresford Dental Care, has installed a defibrillator for which public access is allowed. This has been operational for over a year, and operates through the Hampshire and Isler of Wight Dental Committee scheme. It is located behind the surgery, in their car park, which is accessed from the Dean. When the Dentist’s surgery is open, they can provide assistance and give the access code. When closed, the normal 999 call is needed to obtain the access code – their box has no serial number, so the location (the Alresford Dental Care car park) should be quoted.

AGC 5aAlresford Golf Club:

This Defibrillator has been financed by the Golf Club itself, for members and visitors, and is located in the foyer, next to the trophy cabinet, at the entrance to the Club House. In case of emergency, contact should be made with the Office or Pro-shop, who will bring it to the patient if he is out on the course.



Defibrillator Installations in local villages:

There are other publicly accessible units spread around the local villages, which have been installed as a result of their own local initiatives. All those known are from the Community HeartBeat Trust, and are as follows:

Northington: DSCN2405 Northing 13aThis unit is installed at the front of the village hall, just off the B3046 on the corner of the turning towards the Church. The reference number for this unit is CHT-13-962.

DSCN2404 PC12aPreston Candover: The unit here is installed on the outside of the village hall, in the car parking area opposite the school. The reference number for this unit is CHT-14-1245.

DSCN2401 Wield 11aUpper Wield: At the cross roads on the corner of the village green, next to the bus-stop and shelter, there is a disused telephone box on the grass verge, which now houses a yellow defibrillator box! The reference number here, for this unit, is CHT-10-259, which presumably means the unit was allocated to Upper Wield back in 2010!

Bighton: July 2017, and a little bird tells me that a new Defibrillator has been installed at Bighton Village Hall, after a very short fund-raising period produced the money needed from local donations.

The Edward Pay Medical Fund

When visiting the Alresford Surgery, you may have seen a notice in the waiting room that some of the chairs there were provided by the Edward Pay Medical Fund. Certainly I wondered about this, and it took me a while to learn a little more.

Edward Pay, pictured on service in WW2 in Italy

Edward Pay, pictured on service in WW2 in Italy

Edward Pay was a builder, originally from Liss, who worked around Alresford from the 1920s onwards: in those days when travel in the countryside was by horse and cart, or walking, he would have lived near the job in a caravan or in lodgings, at least through the week. With his workmates he built a Mausoleum at Old Alresford Church, and then did some further work on the old Perin’s school buildings at the top of the Dean. As any good builder he noticed all the pretty girls walking past, and he his wife-to-be, Ada White, walked past the school house every day on her way from her home in the Dean, to her work at Upton Park House. Edward and Ada were married in Alresford in the 1930s – married in a service conducted by his cousin, Rev Harry Carpenter (who later became Bishop of Oxford). They set up home in Ashburton Place, as it was then known: it is now Ashburton Road. He continued working as a builder around Alresford, and had a large family, including seven grandchildren. He was always pleased that his two sons, David and Richard, were volunteers in the Alresford Fire Brigade.

As most Alresford residents, Edward was always a patient at the Alresford Surgery in Station Road. In the 1980s he developed lung cancer, and the Surgery there treated him for this. During the final stages of the disease he needed injections of morphine, and the Surgery, who did not have the morphine syringe driver needed for this treatment, had to borrow one from other NHS surgeries, usually from Andover.

Creating the Charity

Because of the support provided by the Doctors and Nurses in the Alresford surgery, Edward requested that at his funeral – which came in 1988 – any collection should be used to help provide the Alresford Surgery with equipment that would help the community when attending the surgery, but that was not normally provided by the NHS. This first collection raised £500. The Pay family consulted Dr Brill, who advised that to operate effectively the fund should be organised as a Registered Charity, and Mr Alexander in Old Alresford helped create this. A significant benefit of being a Registered Charity is that any charitable purchases made to help people who are disabled or terminally ill are exempt from VAT, which is the Government’s contribution to providing support.

With the help of various fund raising events run in co-operation with the Surgery, the Fire Station, and Edward’s many friends – for example BBQ events, country dances at the ARC, local sausage and cheese tasting evenings, and notably a sponsored cycle ride to Liss and back – the charity raised over £80,000 over the first 20 years.

Villages scan837The cycle ride to Liss covered 66 miles, and was undertaken in 1991 by Dr Green, Dr Tanner and Dr Jane Stebbing, with the practice manager Elaine Guy, as seen in the photo: Dr Brill is in the middle of the cyclists, and they are being greeted here by Edward’s Liss-based relatives, Jean and Jack Pay and Edward’s sister Daisy Hourahine. This was a major initial event for the charity, and raised over £2500 for the fund, which then could afford the £5000 needed to supply the first defibrillator Villages scan833at Alresford Surgery.  This is shown in the second picture, when it arrived in the Surgery, with Dr Clark, Dr Green and two of Edward’s children, Pamela and Richard.

Some money was indeed used for the chairs in the waiting room, but also for the first set of electric doors on the Surgery entrance and the TV screens in the waiting room, as well as the disabled person’s toilet equipment. More directly for medical equipment, the Edward Pay Fund has helped equip the Nurses’ Surgery rooms with equipment and cabinets, and of course initially bought a morphine syringe driver, and then spent £5000 on the defibrillator. In 2015, morphine syringe drivers are available on the NHS, and now four or five are in use in the Alresford area, but the Edward Pay Charity enabled this advanced equipment to be provided before such Government funding became allowable.

dr green letterContributions to the fund have come from many sources, from grateful patients and in bequests from the Alresford townspeople: Alresford businesses have also been generous in providing raffle prizes and support for fund raising events. One of the first fund raising table top sales was organised by two of Edward Pay’s grandchildren, Abbie and Julie Pay, in 1989, when they raised £10 by selling some of their toys from a stall in Beech Road, set up outside their home: the letter of thanks from Dr Green is shown here.

Current activities

Edward’s son Richard and daughter Pam recently presented some of this history at a coffee morning meeting in St John’s Church, and were proud to say that even the TV screens in the waiting room, with the annoying health messages, had actually helped a patient have a check and get treatment for a major health problem, only identified by the screen messages! Over the last five years the income and spend by the charity has tailed off, to below £2000 total: it is hoped that this can be increased once again. The charity is still active, and still keen to provide funds for any equipment for the Surgery that is needed by the community.

The formal objectives of the Charity are:

To relieve sickness and preserve health among persons residing permanently or temporarily in Alresford and the surrounding district by:

  1. The provision of medical and other equipment and materials for the benefit of the patients of Alresford Group Surgery, or of any other practice of general practitioners in the area.
  2. The provision of some other service or function as the Trustees shall from time to time decide.”

The Charity is based at the Alresford Group Surgery, and the Trustees are David Pay, Pamela Page and Richard Pay, who are Edward Pay’s children, and Dr Richard Cribb and Health Care Assistant Lyndsay Curran of the Alresford Surgery.

Alresford Charities

Other charities in Alresford are listed in a previous Alresford Memories post, “Charities in Alresford: Now, and in the past”, posted on 29 January 2015.

The Edward Pay Fund accepts donations at:

Charities in Alresford: Now, and in the past

The following is an extract from a booklet by Raymond Elliott, borrowed from the Alresford Library, entitled “St John the Baptist, Alresford”, which is, as you might expect, about the village church: it was first published 1987. The section of the booklet of interest here is that dealing with “Church Charities”

The Church Charities in Alresford

The charitable establishments given in favour of the poor in the Parish of New Alresford are not very considerable. The earlier charities are all recorded on the front panel of the old west gallery, now removed and preserved in the organ vestry against the south wall.

William Pink, who had been a poor vagrant and received frequent kindnesses from the townsfolk of Alresford, left the sum of twenty pounds in his Will when he died in 1670 [I wonder what the “Big Issue” seller will leave the townsfolk in his Will in these days – Ed]. James Withers, a considerable tradesman in the town, who died in 1680, also bequeathed the sum of twenty pounds [showing that private enterprise and hard work does not pay maybe – but maybe there was a family need here too]. One of these sums was used to purchase a house in the Dean for the use of the poor, together with one acre of land in ‘the Marsh’. The income from these investments was distributed annually to the poor as directed.

William Todd of this town, who died in 1681, left an annuity or rent charge of three pounds a year, being the income from five acres of land in Brook Furlong, and two acres of land in The Marsh.

Also Jenny Harris, relict of William Harris [a popular name, William, obviously] of Arle Bury, by deed, declared the trusts of a sum of stock to produce ten pounds a year, in her Will in 1831.

In 1853 William [!] Wilkinson left to the Rector and Churchwardens the sum of one hundred pounds, the interest from the same to be distributed annually.

In 1862 John Dunn, by Will, directed his executors to purchase a sum of ‘consols’ sufficient to produce five pounds a year.

And finally, Christopher Cooke bequeathed five pounds a year for distribution to the poor, “subject to the deduction of one pound to be given to the minister who shall deliver a sermon on the 26th June when that day shall fall on a Sunday” [Maybe the sum should have been allocated by reason of the work he would have to do to distribute the rest of the fund, responsibly!].

In October 1823 a scheme for the regulation of the eight old charities belonging to the Parish of New Alresford was established and agreed in consultation with the Board of Charity Commissioners [quite an achievement from my impression of their powers: but the booklet did not say what happened to these Church Charity Funds and Investments].

Alresford Charities in modern times – the Pigs

In the late 20th/21st Century, the significance of the Church in providing poor relief had been much diminished. Today the Churches seem to have become a sink for money, requesting funds to go towards appeals for a new roof, or tower, or Bells. But maybe following the “pink” lead of William Pink, the Alresford Pigs were formed.

The mantle was handed on: no longer is it deemed necessary to rely on the income from property, the Pigs use a different model. In Alresford, for the last 40 years (ie since 1974) the local organisation of benefactors, known as the Alresford Pigs Association, raise and distribute money in the town.  The logic is that the members of this organisation, typically men who are working in their own careers, but want to help their community in their own time, raise money through their own efforts from the local community, and distribute this back to those who need help. Over recent years, by organising the Duck Races every other year, the Christmas trees on the shops every year, and marshalling people and parking, amongst other things, at the annual Alresford Agricultural Show, the Alresford Pigs have raised over £12000 a year, and distributed this, totally within the local community.

Alresford Rotary

A similar organisation also started up in Alresford just over 30 years ago, with the local branch of Rotary. Here the model is similar, their fund raising activities include the 10K run and the Town Fireworks display at Arlebury Park: Rotary has a wider distribution network for the funds raised – around 50% of the money is used for the benefit of local residents, and the rest is distributed worldwide. Recent projects have involved several of the local schools, for example they re-built the school pond at Sunhill Junior/Infant schools.

New Alresford Town Trust (NATT)

This organisation has come full circle. Originally comprised of the Bailiff and Burgesses in the town, until the 1890s, when most of their responsibilities were taken over by the Town Council, they probably were the major benefactors to the poor in the 1800s, in co-operation with St John’s. Today the NATT is a Charity run by elected members of the community, trustees administering the assets and land held by the Charity, for the good of the community. They also offer a method for members of the community to offer direct help, in the form of driving the Minibus for community activities.

Since 2013, through the generosity of a benefactor, the NATT have been able to offer Emergency Funding, ie cash grants for people in Alresford that find themselves in financial difficulties.

Other Charities and Associations

There are many other organisations in Alresford who work to support the community. Examples might be the ADCA, (the Alresford & District Community Association), the Giles Group, and the Edward Pay Fund (a charity based around the town surgery). Already, perhaps not trusting the official National charities to be sufficiently focused on the local area, the Pigs, NATT, ADCA, and the Giles Group have benefited from specific bequests and donations within the Wills of people in the town, and from organisations like the Co-operative Stores, who are the best example of businesses who return some of their profits back to the local community.

Interestingly, the Solicitors who deal with individually drafted Wills sometimes find a non-specific clause where money is to be left to ‘a charitable cause’, otherwise undefined. So these solicitors have set up their own systems for allocating this money, and the Giles Group, for Alresford disabled people and their carers, is one charity that has benefited from such a non-specific bequest.

For the future, probably there will continue to be people wanting to follow William Pink’s “pink” example, maybe not quite from the same circumstances! So there are able and willing volunteers wanting to help distribute the charity funds.

Charity Organisations in Alresford: 2015

The development of local charities in Alresford would qualify for support funding, as a local school history project, by the Arthur Stowell Fund. For further information please contact the New Alresford Town Trust