Thrifty Thrift Shop Ladies donate to Local Charities

Mrs Veronica Tuppen BEM, who runs the Station Thrift Shop at RAF Halton, along with her assistants, Thelma Phillips and Paula Wilson, has presented a cheque to five local charities in a short ceremony in Halton House.

The money they raise comes from a percentage of all the items they sell in the shop and a cheque is presented each year from the proceeds. So successful has Veronica been that two years ago she was awarded the British Empire Medal for her services to RAF families and charity. Each recipient was given £750 as part of the £3750 donated.

This year her chosen charities and recipients who collected the cheques were:

The Dialysis Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital. Mr Jose Rico-Diaz, a volunteer fund raiser who works for the Six Counties Kidney Patients Association, collected the cheque on behalf of the charity. He has also had a kidney transplant and said that the money would go towards providing a television for each patient rather than the shared ones they currently have and a video will be made to advise newly transplanted patients about their dietary requirements and health awareness.

Mr Roy Coates, a volunteer driver for the Community Car, collected the cheque on behalf of Wendover Action Group. The service enables elderly and disabled people to visit the Wendover Health Centre for appointments and treatment and also transports disabled children to the Wendover Riding For The Disabled Centre.

Mrs Grace Dives, a volunteer and book reader, from the Calibre Audio Library, which provides a service for local people who are blind or have impaired vision. She said: “Calibre started in 1982 and we have recorded 231 books. The money will help us produce up to four new books. We have 10.000 books in one form or another.”

Mr Tony Smith from the Pepper Foundation which enables sick children to receive specialist paediatric care at home with their families, said: “We provide not only specialist nurses but support for the family which can be long or short term.”

Squadron Leader Ali Sandeman and her husband Gary who is the Chairman of Search Dogs and also a serving member of the Royal Air Force, brought their two dogs along to the presentation and explained that the money would go towards buying more kit for the dogs of which they have nine qualified and 10 in training. Gary said: “The Lowland Search team would normally be called out up to 40 times a year. In the last year in Buckinghamshire, excluding Milton Keynes, there were 2800 people missing for one reason or another.”

Station Commander, Group Captain James Brayshaw, who presented the cheques, said: “Very many thanks from the Station for all the work you do, not only in the Thrift Shop but for Station charities. Please stay engaged with, and working for the Station.”

Veronica said: “For every pound we make we take 20p and try to give donations each year. Our wonderful ladies, Thelma and Paula, who for the last 20 years have turned up each time and work hard doing the tickets and sorting out the donations, Paula is our fashion guru and can mostly find something to suit any customer. I must also thank Flight Lieutenant Craig Percival who often calls in to see how we are doing in exchange for a Penguin bar. Also our secretary, Janna Heathershaw, who gives her time up to help us as her secondary duty. Thank you everyone.”

Written by: 70