WEEKLY COLUMN of Fairford and Lechlade news by Chris Roberts MBE

1. Fairford mum completes London Marathon for special cause 

 On Sunday April 21, Nikki Warrington from Fairford took part in the 26.2 mile London Marathon and successfully completed the whole course.

Nikki was running to raise money for the cancer charity Maggie’s Cheltenham that has supported her daughter Caitlin and their family after Caitlin was diagnosed at the age of 14 with a rare ovarian cancer. Caitlin was first diagnosed in 2017 and, since then, the cancer has returned twice.

Nikki has always loved running, which has been one of the things that helped her cope mentally with her daughter’s illness. “Running in the London Marathon was an incredible experience,” said Nikki. “It’s very hard to explain the support I got from the crowds – especially on Tower Bridge – total strangers calling out my name and encouraging me to get to the finish line.”

Nikki also had support from her family and friends lining the route giving her the hugs that she so much needed to carry on.

The week before the London Marathon, Nikki had organised a live music fundraising event, not only raising funds but also awareness of Maggie’s. So far, she has managed to raise an incredible £11,000 including Gift Aid donations.

“I would like to send out a huge thank you to everybody that has supported me and so kindly donated to this amazing charity,” said Nikki. “Anyone going through cancer or supporting someone that is, please take a visit to Maggie’s in Cheltenham. They are a wonderful charity, and the fabulous staff can help in so many ways.”

If you would like more information about Maggie’s, either drop into the centre or contact 01242 250611, cheltenham@maggies.org.

If you would like to donate to Maggie’s through Nikki’s fundraising page, go to: https://tinyurl.com/2jhtvpt7.

2. Silver award for Fairford church 

St Mary’s Church, Fairford has recently achieved a Silver Award in the A Rocha Eco-Church Scheme.

This follows on from the Bronze Award received in May 2022. The Award could not have been achieved without the involvement and encouragement of many people.

St Mary’s Eco-team will be having a little break from the scheme now, but will continue with Eco-Church activities, as action to prevent Climate Change and biodiversity loss is too important to be put on hold. Any newcomers with new ideas will be welcomed.

3. Summer fete at primary school today 

Fairford Primary School PTA are planning a Summer Fete on Saturday May 18 from 12 noon-3pm at the school

 There will be a bouncy castle, face painting, fun stalls and games, bar and bbq. Free entry. More information nearer the day.

Little Explorers’ Open Afternoon will be on Saturday May 18 between 12 noon-3pm at Fairford Primary School’s Summer Fete.

Come along, look around and meet the team.

There will be baby changing and bottle warming facilities plus lots of toys for toddlers to play with.

Also a Teddy Tombola stall. Little Explorers is a pre-school and nursery where children from 2 years old learn through play and exploration. Find out more from: 01285 712543 (Preschool option) or preschool.admin@fairford.gloucs.sch.uk.

4. Annual meeting of the town at community centre 

The Annual Meeting of the Town will take place on Thursday May 23 at 7pm in Fairford Community Centre.

This is not a council meeting, but an informal event for residents of the town to find out what the council and other organisations have been doing over the past year and provides an opportunity to ask questions and meet the Town Council, the District and County Councillors, representatives from the local Police, local schools, the Palmer Hall, RAF Fairford, The Ernest Cook Trust and others.

There will also be the presentations to the winners of the Citizen of the Year Award and the Albert Alder Award. To find out more, contact the Town Clerk on clerks@fairfordtowncouncil.gov.uk.

5. Open gardens weekend 

The Southrop Open Gardens weekend is Saturday and Sunday May 18 and 19 from 1.30pm-4.30pm. There are over 10 varied gardens.

Tickets cost £6 for a day ticket or £8 for two days and are available at sign-posted gardens or from Southrop Village Hall, GL7 3PB. The Village Hall will also be open for delicious teas, plant sale and more.

6. Lechlade annual town meeting 

The Annual Town Meeting for Lechlade will take place on Tuesday May 21 at 6.30pm in Lechlade Memorial Hall.

This is an opportunity for the council to present an overview of its work and achievements since the previous meeting and for community organisations to report on their activities over the past year. All residents are welcome.