Bonfire Boost For Charities

Six organisations shared in the £1,200 profit made from the annual Long Wittenham bonfire and fireworks night on 5th November.

The event – organised by the parish council and supported by Wittenham Warriors – attracted more than 400 people to Ward’s Field.

The biggest recipient was the Earth Trust which received £300. The Sylva Foundation, St Mary’s church, the Stroke Association and the Churchill hospital League of Friends each received £200. The Pendon  Museum received £100.

The Earth Trust manages Wittenham Clumps, Little Wittenham Wood and Neptune Wood. It ensures wildlife is protected and gives people the opportunity to enjoy and value the natural world.

Event organiser Emma Newman said it was a huge success and thanked volunteers, supporters, villagers and the council for helping what she said had become a firm favourite in the village calendar.

Mrs Newman said: “Earth Trust members have been enormously helpful over the last three years   providing wood, helping to build the bonfire and this year providing the majority of the fencing.”

The Sylva Foundation runs the Wood Centre in Little Wittenham Road. It houses a variety of craft workshops promoting the use of natural wood. The Foundation is creating a community orchard and next year begins work on planting a new forest.

The organisers decided to support the Stroke Association in memory of a Laura Marshall a resident of Long Wittenham and a friend of many of the volunteers at the event. Laura died two years ago.

Sally Duff who heads the parish council’s events section said: “The parish council has taken overall responsibility for the event which means insurance cover is much easier and more financially viable. It’s a pleasure working in partnership with Wittenham Warriors which has years of experience in organising the event.”

“It was a wonderful advert for what can be achieved when the community works together. So many groups and volunteers in our village contributed to making the evening a success. The willingness of villagers to get involved and make things happen is a big part of what makes living in Long Wittenham so special.”

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