Apart from a lie-in, a boot sale is one of my favourite ways to start a Sunday - especially on a lovely sunny morning like today.
I went to Hungerford Football Club which was hosting a very well-attended boot sale in aid of the Tuesday Club. After paying a woman who didn't seem to be suited to early starts, I bought lots of little goodies and didn't spend more than a pound!
The folding of The Burchett Club (now The Burchett Trust) during 1995 led to the formation of The Tuesday Club in the Autumn of 1996, as a communal meeting place for the 'less mobile’ people living in Hungerford and its surrounding areas. A warm and friendly Club with a membership of around 120, the club gives relief and support to those for whom growing older has coincided with varying degrees of disability. In return, the members actively respond with enthusiasm to events arranged on their behalf for entertainment or fundraising purposes. During February 2003 an appendage to the title was necessary in order to distinguish the Club from other Tuesday Clubs to achieve Registered Charity status, and since then the name has been The Tuesday Club Hungerford.
The club is run by a committee of 14, six of whom were elected as Trustees. With absolutely no capital to set up the inaugural meeting, the responsibility fell on the founding committee members to cover the costs of transport, food and entertainment out of their own pockets. Soon after, some limited grants and donations were received which, coupled with Coffee Mornings, stall sales, and raffles, ensured that consolidation was achieved, making future progress possible.
In September 1997 the first Summer Outing took place with every member being taken for an afternoon tour plus a stop for a Cream Tea, all completely free of charge, a very popular feature still practiced to the present day. Gradually other day and half day trips were introduced during the Summer months. These have now increased to taking place throughout the year. Similarly a bargain 5 day break at Torquay in 1999 has developed into Spring and Autumn Holidays being taken every year since. In addition a series of well-supported Mystery Weekends have recently been added to the itinerary.
Amid the Millennium celebrations a concerted effort was taken to include the less able bodied in participating with aspects previously available only to those able to board a Coach. Afternoon trips were arranged thanks to our friends in CHAIN plus a 7-day holiday for a small group each year funded by grants and donations given specifically for this purpose.
To maximise this potential, a previously agreed strategy for securing sufficient funding to realise the purchase of a tail lift Mini-Bus was started towards the end of the 1990's, albeit very slowly at first when initial approaches to local Businesses and other organisations had little success, perhaps not surprising with some £30,000 required and only £4,000 to begin the project. Going into 2002 barely £10,000 had been raised, however, a vast injection over the next two years saw the necessary figure reached, thanks to the magnificent grants and donations from the Town Council, from Trusts,
Businesses and individuals, part thereof along with other valuable contributions from events held on the behalf of the Club by individuals or groups. A much-treasured asset, though it is essential that fundraising be maintained to make certain that the need to start from scratch will not arise when future replacement is necessary.