Students donate cash to club for elderly
MORE than 100 Oxford students have backed a club for the elderly by donating cash to help them through the winter.
About 120 third-year students from Oxford University’s St Edmund Hall took part in a quiz night in aid of the Surviving Winter Campaign, which is helping elderly people across the county during the colder months.
Organisers of the campaign, the Oxfordshire Community Foundation (OCF), said this week it would be topping up the £454 the students raised to £750, and awarding it to the Great Milton Good Neighbours’ Club, which is struggling to meet running costs.
The money will be used to fund club activities over the next two years, including paying for guest speakers, days out and its popular Christmas party.
Third year medical student, James Arwyn-Jones, 20, who organised the quiz at the college in Queen’s Lane, said: “It was a big ‘pub quiz’ basically, in our dining hall, with teams of six people answering 10 rounds of questions.
“We charged £3 for a ticket and sold drinks and made a lot of money.
“We wanted the money to go to local people, rather than one of the big national or international concerns, and so I went on the OCF’s Localgiving.com website to see who was looking for help.”
He added: “It’s been great talking to members of the neighbours’ club, hearing about how long the club has been going and now knowing that the money we have raised will be helping that club to continue.
“We are now planning charity quizzes each term and hope to help other local good causes.”
The Great Milton Neighbours’ Club was started in 1961 by village resident Gilbert Pickett, who wanted to bring people together.
Member Celia Cope, 82, who lives in High Street, Great Milton, said: “I lost my husband in an accident many years ago and the club has been a great comfort to me.
“But paying for our speakers and other activities is not easy and each year the grants we apply for get smaller and more difficult to get.
“We pay £5 a year as members and a pound a week to attend, but finding out we are to get this lovely amount of money thanks to a group of students is absolutely marvelous.”
Last year 170 people died in the county in circumstances related to cold weather. And according to the OCF, for every person who died, there were dozens more, mainly elderly people, suffering from isolation and hardship.
The Surviving Winter campaign was set up to encourage people to make donations to help older and vulnerable people in fuel poverty.
- Surviving Winter donations can be made at localgiving.com/donation/oxfordshire or by texting Fuel00 to 70070 and entering an amount from £1-£10.