Haddenham Fis...

Haddenham Fish Scheme Anniversary Party

Fish Scheme Celebrates its 40th Anniversary

The phrase “Doing a Fish lift” often puzzles people, being nothing to do with line and rod fishing!

40 years ago the Haddenham Fish Scheme began as a ‘Good Neighbour’ scheme started by locals connected to the doctor’s surgery and local churches — hence its Fish symbol logo. Its main function now is to provide lifts to elderly Haddenham residents and those with mobility difficulties so that they can get to local shops, hairdressers and hospital, doctor and dentist appointments. The Scheme carries out between 800 and 900 lifts a year — who says ‘Good Neighbours’ don’t exist anymore? They certainly do in Haddenham!

The service is free-of-charge to clients, and works through of a network of local volunteer drivers (currently around 80 number) with lifts coordinated each week by a different person on the ‘telephone rota’. The scheme works so well that it is often referred to and consulted by other groups wanting to establish similar schemes in their area.

On Sunday 12th May, a group of 90 people — representing both clients and volunteers — gathered for a Tea Party in Haddenham Community Infant School to celebrate 40 years of the scheme’s operation.

For almost 30 years of these years the Chairman Jeanne Watt and Secretary Alison Green have been key figures in running the Haddenham Fish Scheme. Two of the longest-serving volunteer drivers, Christina Jeffery and Chris Thorogood, were invited to cut the Anniversary Cake — a wonderful creation by local Mum and past Fish driver Eleanor Fowler. The cake was designed to make clever use of the scheme logo, with hand painted fish scales filling the 40 numerals.

After a mountain of sandwiches and cakes were suitably devoured, client guests and volunteers were captivated by the delightful singing of Thame Children’s Choir (TCC2) under the musical direction of Duncan Aspden, accompanied by Judy Thompson. As part of this entertainment the audience thoroughly enjoyed their chance to have a sing along, joining TCC2 with a rousing rendition of the partner songs It’s a Long Way to Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles. TCC2 members Grace Parry, Charlie Beazley-Clark and Anna Hayward all sang lovely solos in the songs Early One Morning and A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square.

To find out more about the Haddenham Fish Scheme, please visit the website www.haddenhamfishscheme.org — new volunteers are always welcome! To find out more about Thame Children’s Choir (TCC2) visit www.tcc2.org TCC2 meets on Sundays at 4.30pm in John Hampden School in Thame and new members are always welcome!

(photos courtesy of haddenham.net)

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