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Gift vouchers for disadvantaged people in Sonning Common at Christmas 2023

Over the past few years this has been a charitable cause which has been led and supported by the Sonning Common magazine. It started in lockdown when it was perceived to be a ‘bit of a treat’ for disadvantaged members of our community. In 2020 there were treats boxes, and in 2021 there were more, and last year the number had risen to 90. We tried to provide 12 items for the Christmas period in each box or bag.

There was not really any feedback on what had been provided, but there was a sense that a different approach might be more acceptable. After discussions with the Food Bank organisers and the staff at FISH, giving people choice seemed to be the rationale and with it the idea of vouchers. The FISH team provide individual support for 30 housebound residents.

There are currently 42 households in the village who receive Food Bank parcels. 29 of these are families, who might comprise one parent and child, to 2 parents and 5 children, and all the permutations within this number. It is thought that the number of recipients at the Food Bank is likely to grow over the next few weeks.

The value of the voucher would be dependent on the amount of funding we can raise from various charitable bodies and through setting up a Just Giving website.

These vouchers are likely to be for Argos, All For One, or the Co-op store in the village. These stores give a range of choices to the recipients.

I do hope that you are able to support this worthy cause at this very special time of year for giving. Any amount would be most welcome and much appreciated.


Diana Pearman and Christine Atkinson

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