Clubs and Community (Including a tail-wagging sum raised for Hearing Dogs)

Berkhamsted Junior Young Farmers present a cheque to the Hearing Dogs charity
Berkhamsted Junior Young Farmers present a cheque to the Hearing Dogs charity

Latest news from clubs and community groups in your area.

Stoneycroft Ladies Club seeks more members in 2015

We are a friendly ladies club, that meet at the Warner’s End community centre, usually on the fourth Monday of each month.

The meetings start at 2pm and run until 4pm.

We have interesting speakers and entertainers, and we arrange occasional outings for our members.

Membership for the year is £14,and each monthly visit is just £2, which includes, tea, coffee, biscuits and a raffle.

We are all retired ladies and would be delighted and very welcoming, if any would like to join us.

Please contact Jean Box on 01442 264645 for more information.

A festive meet-up for Flamstead and Trowley’s Women’s Institute

Our meeting in December was a festive evening.

The speaker was Vic Botterill and his talk was entitled ‘A Christmas Cracker.’ This was a medley of facts and stories about Christmas origins and traditions.

One legend is that the original Father Christmas was Woden, the god of magic, who rode across the sky on a sleipnir pulled by an eight-legged horse! The Christians then created St Nicholas.

He told us the legend of the spider who was supposed to have stopped the soldiers from finding the baby and the legends and myths surrounding mistletoe, the robin and the Christmas tree and the Poinsettia - the flower of the Holy Night.

His slide presentation was very good and he was an entertaining speaker. He had included lots of anecdotes and some conundrums which kept us amused and provoked much laughter.

Each member had brought a contribution to the ‘feast’ and we exchanged small presents. We finished the evening as is usual in December, singing Christmas carols.

At the January meeting held on Thursday our speaker was Ann Ledger who told us about ‘Women of influence and significance.’

Cheque presentation by Junior Young Farmers to Hearing Dogs charity

On a very hot and sunny Saturday in July, 12 Young Farmers from the Berkhamsted branch did a 10-mile sponsored walk starting from Berrybush Farm in Kings Langley, along with nine dogs, stopping for lunch at The Cock Inn at Sarratt.

We had a visit from Liz Ardent and her hearing dog Maple earlier in the year and decided to do a fundraiser for them – a walk was the most popular idea. Amazingly, the children raised a fantastic £779.50 for the charity.

Liz and dog Maple came to collect their cheque recently and were quite overwhelmed,saying this was a fantastic amount and they were thrilled to receive it on behalf of the charity.

They will be joining us again next year for a visit to tell us how the money was spent.

Leigh and Mandy who run the Berko Junior Young Farmers Group and did the walk with the children along with a few parents said they were extremely proud of their group.

If anyone aged 10 to 16 would like to join the Junior Young Farmers, please contact Leigh Herod on 07889 883720.

Musical concert raises the roof – and funds for DENS

A concert with two choirs and an orchestra filled St. John’s, Boxmoor to capacity during December.

Dacorum Community Choir, Melodia Boys and Girls, from Neu Isenburg, Hemel’s twin town in Germany, and the talented performers from the Dacorum Youth Orchestra came together in a performance in aid of DENS, Dacorum’s homeless charity.

Rufus Frowde,who opened the event with an organ solo, Toccata on Veni Emmanuel by Andrew Carter, compered the event and conducted the Dacorum choir and the youth orchestra.

Melodia Boys and Girls were conducted by Oliver Seiler.

The performance of the German choir was magnificent with an outstanding soloist, Barbara Kornick, leading in John’s Lennon’s, Happy Christmas (War is Over).

Councillor Allan Lawson, Dacorum’s mayor, gave a short speech in which he said that the Community Choir had gone from strength to strength since their founding in 2009. He said: “Indeed this year, they have gone from the Albert Hall in March) to Queen’s Square, Adeyfield at the Christmas lights switch on.”

Anthony Culley, the chair of the trustees of DENS, thanked the choir for choosing them as their charity for the concert. He went on to say that DENS helps and supports homeless single people and others in crisis in Dacorum through the Night Shelter, Day Centre, Foodbank and supported housing.

DENS is run by 12 trustees, 23 staff and over 150 volunteers. He said: “Since January we have provided food parcels to over 3,500 people and supported and helped a further 350 people. Sadly the demand is ever increasing.”

In total £1,000 was raised from the concert for this worthwhile cause.

Have a heart and donate unwanted gifts to charity

After Christmas, Hemel Hempstead’s British Heart Foundation shops are urging people to give back by donating their unwanted presents to charity.

The profit raised from BHF shops goes on to fund life-saving research into heart disease.

More than half (64%) of people surveyed from the eastern region said they receive two unwanted Christmas presents every year. With the average price per Christmas gift estimated at £21.75, the British Heart Foundation says that almost £2.7 billion pounds worth of unwanted presents could be donated to charity this year.

BHF shops accept all of your unwanted gifts, everything from candles, Christmas jumpers, socks, games, handbags, books and DVDs.

BHF deputy retail director Diane Locke, said: “It’s incredible that there’s £2.7 billion worth of unwanted Christmas gifts in the UK this year. Every year people receive presents that are just not to their taste, are the wrong size, or even two of the same gift.

“These unwanted presents can make an extraordinary difference to BHF shops. We’re encouraging people to donate their unwanted gifts and help raise vital funds in the fight against heart disease.” There is a BHF shop in Marlowes, as well as a BHF furniture shop.