Food Parcels Update and The community Organisations Cost of Living Fund

By Alex Sanderson (Project Manager)

Did you know? Our Ash Villages Food Parcels Proejct received funding from the The Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund to help us keep the project going in 2023/2024. We are so grateful for this government funding, as it makes all the difference for local families. The funding ended in March and we have just finished writing up our end of grant report, so I thought you might like to see a few of the statistics.

I am so incredibly proud of this amazing volunteer team! In 23 weeks they have fed 1300 people. They have been very busy collecting donations, managing the stock, packing and delivering over 400 parcels. The funding we received stocked up the shelves to make sure we could deliver enough food, basic toiletries, and baby bank items to those in urgent need in our local villages of Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham.

Have a guess how many volunteer hours they have racked up between them? We had 32 different volunteers, who worked a total of 373 shifts, donating a staggering 648 hours of their time between them during these 23 weeks. What a huge thing to do for the community. Thank you all so much!

If you would like me to pass on a message to them for you, please email me projectmanager@Ash-Vale.org.uk and I will be sure to share it in our team chat!

Have a happy week!

Alex

Christmas 2023: You are invited!

Saturday 25th Nov—Christmas at The Chapel on Wharf Rd: Join us 2pm-5pm for festive fun, amazing cake sale, raffle, free card making craft, second hand toys, clothes and more. Free admission.

Saturday 2nd December St Nicholas Day Lantern Walk (time slots start from 4pm): An atmospheric lantern walk from The Chapel on Wharf Rd to St Mary’s on Vale Rd, finishing with a bonfire party, hot chocolate and sweets from St Nicholas! Text / WhatsApp to book: 07730 609446

Sunday 17th December Carols by Candlelight 6.30pm: Come and share the joy of singing our favourite Christmas Carols by candlelight at this very special service at St Mary’s. Let’s rejoice! (free / donations)

24th Dec—Christingle Journey (time slots start from 3pm): Make Christingle, visit the Inn, see the Wise Men, stoke the shepherd’s bonfire, and get a selfie with baby Jesus! Not forgetting Revd Neil’s amazing pizza! Text to book 07730 609446 (Children’s Society donations welcomed)

24th Dec—Christmas Communion 11.30pm: Come and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and the first communion of Christmas.

25th Dec: Christmas Day Service  Join us to celebrate our Lord Jesus’s birth. Children welcome, why not bring along your favourite present to show & tell?

Christmas Donations: This year we are asking for donations of Christmas treats & gifts for local food parcels please, and we are fundraising for tree planting in Uganda as well as local refugees. To donate items for any of our projects please contact us, or you can follow this link and select a project to support by donation. Thank you!  https://givealittle.co/c/75npOYB3aZl4vFFBN2Ve3p

Keeping in touch: Visit us at Community Cafe on Fridays 10:00-13:00, Sunday services at 10:30am  Email parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk | Facebook @StMarysAshVale | Church Blog is available online here: www.ash-vale.org.uk and includes The Parishioner Magazine. Project Manager Tel.: 07730 609446

Have a blessed and happy Christmas!

Love and Light Party 31 Oct – text to book today!

It’s October! The annual Love and Light Party will be on 31st October as always. It’s on a Tuesday this year, after school at 4-6pm at The Chapel on Wharf Road GU12 5AY. If you would like to join us you are very welcome! Text or phone or WhatsApp to book your places please asap so we can be sure to cater! 07730 609446

What’s happening? Join us from 4pm onwards for snacks, crafts and games, Martin will start the disco at 4:30pm, and we will have sparklers at 5pm if the weather permits. Hotdogs and s’mores for tea, and a party bag to take home if you book in advance. Book today! 07730 609446.

What does it cost? We don’t exclude anyone based on their finances. We do ask for donations please – give what you can, to help cover the costs of the event. Some people can afford more than others, and every penny counts. Thank you! https://givealittle.co/campaigns/0e5ae7c4-ccad-4f64-806f-0bdda20b8876

Can we dress up? Yes of course! Nothing too scary please, as there will be little ones about. We have some UV lights for the disco so wear something neon if you want to glow up! You do you – come as you are or dress up as whatever you like.

Volunteers are always needed please for setting up / serving drinks and food / prepping party bags / helping out / welcoming / clearing down. Text or phone us if you can help, or speak to Alex when you see her. Thank you!

Harvest Thanks to everyone at St Mary’s!

The local Food Parcels team would like to say a big Harvest Festival *THANK YOU* to everyone at St Mary’s church, and everyone who dropped off their wonderful food donations for the harvest collection there.  This amazing generosity is what helps the project to keep going and enables us to keep helping families in need.  These donations are a big blessing.  

Thanks to Revd Neil Lambert, these lovely tins and packets, toiletries and treats have now been packed, collected and transported, and are now safely on the shelves at the #AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject and will go out in the food parcels in the next week or two. Thank you all so much for your support! It really matters, and every tin makes a difference. 

We wish you a blessed and happy Autumn!

#AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject 

What does the Food Parcels Project need? 

By Alexandra Sanderson 

We had a lovely enquiry today. A kind local resident keen to help the Ash Villages Food Parcels Project and wanting to know what items to give. He is not on social media, so needed a list that could be printed off to refer back to. I was delighted to oblige! 

Here is the list of the weekly items we use for a standard food parcel, to give you an idea of what you might donate: 

The tins we get through 30+ a week of each: 

Tomatoes / Sweetcorn / Baked beans / Tuna

Meat (curry or hotdogs or ham or mince etc)

Sweet (fruit / rice pud / custard etc)

Other staples we include every week are: 

Pasta (instant noodles are low cost to cook) 

Rice (microwave rice is low cost to heat)

Pasta sauce (again low cost to heat)

Tea / coffee / Sugar 

Uht milk & Cereal

Treats occasionally to bring a smile e.g. Biscuits / Jam / crisps

We also try to include fresh items to support healthier eating: 

Potatoes / Onions / Carrots / Apples / Eggs

Any of the above that you might like to donate would be much appreciated thank you. You could pick one item and donate a few of the same, or pick a couple of things from the list, or even pick one of each and donate the necessary for a whole weekly parcel. 

Alternatively you could choose to support with toiletries: & “Baby bank” items

Shower gel / Shampoo / Sanitary items / Soap

Nappies / baby wipes / Baby forumla / Baby food pouches

Laundry pods (we divide packs between families)

Pets: We also like to be able to give out cat food and dog food if people are able to donate those so that families can afford to keep much loved pets. 

Where to send things:

Donations can be dropped off at St Mary’s Church on Vale Rd, GU12 5JE whenever we are open. In the summer holidays Friday Cafe is open in August 10:00-13:00 and the church services are 10:30am-12:00.

You can also take donations directly to the team at the Chapel on Wharf Rd GU12 5AY, where we pack the parcels. The team is there packing parcels on Wednesdays and Fridays 8:45-9:45am or contact us to make other arrangements if these times don’t work for you. You can also choose to leave items in the community shed in our car park. Please clearly label the bag “Donation for the food parcels”.

Do you take donations of funds to? Yes please! If shopping is inconvenient we do also very gladly accept donations of funds. We can buy in bulk which keeps the cost down and makes your money go even further to feed more families.

You can donate by cash or cheque at St Marys’s church Ash Vale, which our Treasurer allocates to the restricted fund for food parcels – just write on the envelope or on the back of the cheque what the donation is for and Patrick ensures it goes in the righ account.

We can send you the details for a bank transfer or regular standing order if you prefer.  This just requires you to put “Food Parcels” as the reference so again Patrick can assign the funds to the right project.

For immediate online donations we have a church account with the “Give a little” donations platform and the link for the Food Parcels project is here: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c  this platform allows you to sign up for regular giving, or a one-off donation, whichever you would like to do.

Whatever you decide to do – thank you very much for your support!

If you’d like to know more please Contact: 07730609446

Warm Hubs launched across Surrey

Press release from SCC

This Winter, Surrey County Council, district, borough town & parish councils have been working together with Surrey’s fantastic faith and community groups to open up a network of Warm Hubs that are there to support residents who will be affected by the cost-of-living and energy crisis.

Many millions of UK residents will be affected by soaring energy bills, and Surrey is no different, with tens of thousands of our neighbours, friends, and families being forced to make difficult decisions on whether to heat their homes or eat three meals a day.

We know that many of our homes are poorly insulated, and this combined with the extreme types of weather we’ve been seeing, as a result of climate change, means this Winter could be even harder.  The combination of adverse weather, poorly heated homes and people unable to keep their heating on poses a real threat to people’s health. 

That’s why a network of Warm Hubs has been set up across Surrey to provide support to residents in these challenging times.  The Warm Hubs are spaces across the county, where people can drop-in, get warm, have a hot drink and be in the company of other people. Very simply a place to get warm. There will also be people on hand to give free energy advice. Helping people with advice to make their homes more energy efficient and ultimately reduce their fuel bills.

There are currently nearly 70 of these warm spaces that have been opened up in a variety of community spaces including community and church halls, libraries, leisure centres and even museums across the county.

For more information on where these Warm Hubs will be visit surreycc.gov.uk/warmhubs

Councillor Marisa Heath Cabinet Member for Environment said “Having been through COVID-19 we saw how communities in Surrey pulled together to support one another, particularly looking out for the most vulnerable amongst us.  And once again through the provision of this network of Warm Hubs, we can see all sectors of the community working together to provide a warm space for those who may be struggling to keep warm this winter.  This provision is open to everyone, it’s a free service that is quite simply a space for people to come and get warm and mix with others from their community. It also provides the opportunity for people to get some free energy advice which can help them to make sure they are using their energy most efficiently and know where to go to for any support that is out there which can help them to make any improvements.”

Warm Hubs helping you to get warm and stay warm. Find your nearest Warm Hub here surreycc.gov.uk/warmhubs #warmhubs #NoOneLeftBehind #staywarm

From The Parishioner Editor: “Did you know? St Mary’s here in Ash Vale is a Warm Hub! Pop in to our Community Café on Fridays from 10am for free hot drinks and a natter, followed by soup lunch 12:00-13:00″ Other local churches are covering different days too. Have a look at the Warm Hubs list! surreycc.gov.uk/warmhubs #warmhubs #NoOneLeftBehind #staywarm #Community #StMarysAshVale

What’s on at St Mary’s & The Chapel this Easter 2022

You are warmly invited to join in with local Easter events at St Mary’s on Vale Rd, and at The Chapel on Wharf Rd.

Easter is our major festival of the year when we remember the death of Jesus and celebrate him rising from the dead.

Lent is the period before Easter when Christians remember the events leading up to and including the death of Jesus Christ. Last Sunday Neil spoke again about the opportunities to reflect together during Lent:

Continue reading “What’s on at St Mary’s & The Chapel this Easter 2022”

In loving memory of dear “Scrivener”

St Mary’s church family remembers Tony Fitzpatrick-Brown

As some of you will know, Tony Fitzpatrick-Brown died unexpectedly over the Christmas period. He was a faithful member of St Mary’s, being a contributor to the Parish Magazine as “Scrivener”, a Thursday Cafe visitor, and a staunch supporter of Evensong and previously the 8.00am Sunday service. We will miss his love, care and support very much. We hope you enjoy these memories from his St Mary’s church family.

Continue reading “In loving memory of dear “Scrivener””

From my Abuela…. with Love

Oil Pickled Partridge – Perdiz en escabeche, by Val Hoppichler

The hunting season is over and now is the time to cook delicious recipes with game. I do not remember when was the first time I ate partridge as my grandfather used to go hunting in “The Pampas” in Argentina since my mom was a child. I still remember the smell of the burnt feathers, a particular smell that is impossible not to recognise. In those times 1970’-1990’ it was not possible to eat game if you were not a hunter, at least in South America. My grandmother had so many partridges that she made all kind of meals. One of my favourites is her oil pickled partridge which I cook every year and I share it with you today. It is also the best way to preserve the bird and be able to eat it later. Fortunately in England we can find and buy all kind of birds even in supermarkets.  This recipe also works well with any kind of game or meat of your choice.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Partridges
  • 2 Carrots (or as much as you like)
  • 1 or 2 Onions (or as much as you like)
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1000ml White wine
  • 1000ml Vinegar
  • 200 Rapeseed Oil or Sunflower Oil
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • Aromatic herbs (2 bay leaf, 1 tsp of oregano or parsley, fresh or dried)

Cut the partridge into pieces (as you would a chicken). Place the sliced carrots in and the onions cut in quarters into a saucepan, along with the aromatic herbs, peppercorns, garlic cloves, white wine, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. 

Boil for 5 -10 minutes to soften the vegetables, then add the partridge pieces and cook until the partridge is tender. 

If you want to store in sterilised jars, place the hot food into the jar and cool with the lid closed. You can also boil the jars or use any method you are familiar with. Note: As with any preserving recipe, you can freely add more or less vegetables to enjoy with the partridge, and a bit more wine or vinegar. Before eating, place the jar in the fridge and cool, slice some bread, open the wine or your favourite drink, and enjoy!  

Buen Provecho!