Weekly column by Chris Roberts MBE about Fairford and Lechlade news

1. 10-year-old girl fundraising for library 

THE story last week on the Fairford & Lechlade page of the Wilts & Glos Standard about Lechlade Community Library needing financial help has prompted ten year old Ella Bacon to start fundraising to help the library reach its target for the refurbishment work needed.

Ella, who lives in Lechlade and goes to St Lawrence’s Primary School, is an avid bookworm and adores Lechlade Library, so much so that she taken it upon herself to do a Readathon challenge to try to raise some money to help the library.

“Our community library is a much-loved part of our town – loved by myself and many children that I go to school with,” said Ella.

“I would love for it to be able to get the work done that it needs, so I am challenging myself to read every day for 30 days from January 22-February 21 to raise money. I would like to ask everyone to please consider sponsoring me – even just £1 would make all the difference and I would be ever so grateful.”

As well as a Readathon, Ella is also having a sort out of her old books to donate to the library for them to sell on their secondhand book shelf. She is also going to ask her Headteacher to allow her to organise a book themed non-school uniform day and encourage her school friends to also take part in their own reading challenge to raise fund.

To date, Ella has raised nearly £600 of her £100 target. If you want to donate, please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Ellathebookwormlechladelibrary?utm_term=KdevX7GzN

2.  Fairford resident awarded accolade 

Jackie Devereux, who has lived in Fairford for 10 years and worked in the travel industry for over 25 years, has been awarded an accolade by Conde Nast as a Southern Africa specialist.

Now she wants to share her experience, knowledge and love of Africa with people who have never been and, in particular, children.

She is encouraging families to get in touch with her to find out more about taking a safari holiday so children can learn about wildlife conservation at firsthand and enjoy the excitement of spotting animals together as a family.

She said that safaris do not have to be expensive and there are family-friendly options for various budgets. A memorable first family safari would be to South Africa’s Kruger National Park or the Hwange National Park, where she took her own son when he was still a toddler! However, Jackie says that children aged seven and older get the most out of a safari and are keen to learn about the animals and the African landscape.

To find out more from Jackie, contact her on: 01285 402246, jackie@shonatravel.com.

3. School's fundraiser to replace 'ancient boilers'

Headteacher of Farmor’s School, Fairford, Matthew Evans and Assistant Headteacher, Roger Eckersley are planning to climb Mt Kilimanjaro – the highest peak in Africa – in the summer of 2024.

They will be raising funds to replace the school’s ancient boilers – affectionately known as Jack and Jill – as they are sadly beyond repair. A new, more efficient heating system will not only keep everyone at the school warm, it will also help to achieve the school’s goals of being carbon neutral.

Matthew Evans said: “We want to help our school take a significant step towards being carbon neutral for the benefit of our students’ futures and the planet they will inherit. Please help us to achieve these goals. Every pound donated will be invested in renewable energy for Farmor’s School.”

So far, the GoFundMe page has received £2,615 of the £10,000 target. If you would like to donate, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/f/make-farmors-school-warm-again.

4. Group looking for new chair

Working 4 Wellbeing is looking for a new Chair of Trustees. This is a voluntary role with a minimum commitment of around one per month.

If you have a passion for helping and building communities, have strong leadership skills and knowledge of charity governance, then this could be the perfect role for you. You must have an interest in promoting mental wellbeing, reducing feelings of isolation and want to make a difference in the community.

For more information, visit www.working4wellbeing.org.uk or to apply, please email your CV and statement of interest to volunteering@w4w.uk.

5. Much-loved lunch club returns 

The much-loved Edna Dawes Lunch Club (EDLC) is now on Mondays as well as Wednesdays.

You can get a warm meal, activities, socializing, refreshments and transportation if needed, all for a low cost of just £10. Please get in touch with Katie, EDLC Team Leader, for more information about attending either Mondays or Wednesdays or to volunteer: edlc@friendsoffairford.org.uk or call 07713 607106.

6. Friends say thanks for support

The Friends of Fairford & Lechlade Communities (FFLC) would like to thank everyone that supported the charity last year.

Whether you attended an event, made a donation, volunteered or helped to raise awareness of what FFLC does, the charity is very grateful.

Check out their new website: www. friendsoffairford.org.uk. If you want to stay in touch about news and events, please join the mailing list by emailing: admin@ friendsoffairford.org.uk.