Muscular Dystrophy, Colchester
Newsletter number 8
October 2001

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Chairman's Corner

The leaves on the trees are turning red and starting to fall to the ground, autumn is upon us, can winter be far behind? Time passes so quickly.

As stated in the last newsletter, to save costs, were possible I will in future send the newsletter by e-mail. I have received no adverse comment so I assume you have no objections?

Branch Annual General Meeting a date for your diary. The date for the Branch Annual General Meeting is Saturday March 9th 2002. The AGM will commence at 1.30pm, at the Tollgate Hall as last year. It has not yet been decided whether we shall have an outside speaker, if we do then there will be a time limit set. There needs to be more time allowed for the serious business of socialising. It is hoped that the keyboard player we had at the last AGM will be able to attend again at the coming meeting. More detailed information will be available in the next edition of the newsletter. This is advance notification so that you can keep the date free.

The branch wishes to add its congratulations, to the many received by Canon Stuart Holden, on the celebration of fifty years in the ministry in and around Colchester. Stuart actually retired some years ago but still takes services, as and when needed. He was the first Vicar of St Margaret's church, Berechurch and was Rector at St Andrew's church Earls Colne, for 27 years. Stuart is still very actively working with local charities, including MD and I can testify to his willingness to "shake a tin" for the branch at fund raising store collections.

Will you please take note of our new website address:
http://privatewww.essex.ac.uk/~pfremlin/mdgroup
The site is regularly updated, so if you want to know what is going on in the branch, that is the place to go.

Social Activities

I recently came across a company that runs a motor cruiser, on the Norfolk Broads. The boat is fully fitted to take disabled passengers, there are no steps at all and where necessary, ramps are installed. If we can get sufficient interest, it is proposed to run a coach/minibus, sometime next year and hire the boat and crew for the day, or part day. There is no commitment at this stage. I think that the boat will take 12 passengers and is in great demand so an early booking needs to be made.

MD Holidays

I have received notification that bookings are now being accepted for a hotel holiday in Orlando, Florida. For 22nd August to 6th September 2002. If anyone is interested they should contact:

Anita Byers,
Muscular Dystrophy Holidays
121 Church Road,
Three Legged Cross,
Wimborne,
Dorset,
BH21 6RQ
Tel: 01202 813313

Fund Raising

The branch seems very much on target and possibly we will exceed the amount raised last year.

West Bergholt Vehicle and Military Show 28th/29th July Not a very satisfactory exercise, there were too many stalls similar to our own, we were placed in an obscure section of the ground. Over the two days we made 150.78

West Mersea Lions August Bank Holiday Fete The weather was kind to us this year, I would like to pay special thanks to David Watson, for stepping into the breech and ferrying tombola prizes etc. to West Mersea and to Carol Hobbs for helping out on the stall, we made 230.76 on the day

Greenstead Community Centre Fete 15th September The weather could have been worse, we would have preferred the wind to be blowing less of a gale but it was mainly dry. Your chairman accompanied by Stan Angier went to the assistance of Damsels In Distress and erected their 'gazebo' for them, it went up easier and more quickly than our own. On the day we raised 133.59

Collections:

Fiveways store Abbotts Road, Colchester 11th August We collected 242.48

Tesco store Copdock, Ipswich 28th/29th September We collected 1,178.88 Included in this figure is 306.25 raised by Bridget and Tony Farley who brought along their organ to entertain the shoppers. A fortuitous fire alarm emptied the store of customers, who congregated outside, around the organ. Our special thanks to Tony for coming along, he has not been in the best of health lately, his and Bridget's presence was much appreciated as was that of Anne Jackson, resplendent in a little orange number, bearing the motif "Muscular Dystrophy Campaign", thanks Anne.

We have one further event arranged for this year, although it is early days yet and anything can happen. On Friday 12th October, we are stepping into the unknown, carrying out our first ever collection at Colchester North, railway station. This will take place in the early morning and again during the afternoon and early evening, during the rush hours. We shall have to see how this goes!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed in any way to the success of the branch fund raising during 2001. Particularly, my very grateful thanks go to your committee, for the way in which it has given me its complete support during the past year. Especially in relation to the fashion show, which so easily could have gone pear-shaped and up to 48 hours before the event, we thought that it probably would. I must also thank those ardent supporters, Stan Angier, his daughter Sue Boreham, Jan and Clare Jarman and Stuart Holden. Bob Cardy, Jenna Watson and Maria Fremlin for their magnificent cake baking, Joy and Sandra McDonald, for the knitting and fabric work that they have donated, for sale on the stall. I am sure that I must have missed out some names, if so please forgive me and accept my grateful thanks for all your efforts.

As mentioned in the last newsletter, we are once again participating in Cards for Good Causes this November - December, at the Public Library, in Colchester. As ever I am looking for volunteers, who are willing to give up two hours of their time to sell Christmas cards and at the same time raise funds for MD. You only need to attend once; more if you would like to, There will be two of you on duty at any one time. Please, if you are able to help out with this then contact me as soon as possible, time is short and the organisers have to prepare their manning schedules well in advance.

In the knowledge that I am repeating myself ad-nauseum, we are still looking for volunteers, to help with fundraising. The people who unselfishly give of there free time are doing so for the benefit of everyone, not just themselves. Although, most of the time it is a fun thing to do and we get a good laugh out of it, it is unfair to expect the same people to turn out time and again, week after week. All that I am asking is for you to add your name to a list of volunteers whom we can call on, if necessary and if you are available to help then that will be fine, if not we will approach someone else. There is no commitment from you except to say that if available, you would be prepared to help out. I do not believe that is an unreasonable request to make? Please get in touch with Sue Wood or myself and help us to help you.

I have mentioned the change to our website address. Our thanks should go to Peter Fremlin who manages the branch website and keeps it updated, those of you who surf the internet, if you do not already visit the site, I urge you to do so. It is extremely well produced and a great source of current information.

If you have anything that you would like included in the next edition, January, please get it to me, during December, news items, poetry, stories all are welcome.

It seems too early in the year but winter and Christmas are rapidly approaching. 2001 has seen a dramatic change to all our lives, with more changes still to emerge in the coming months. Let us pray that somewhere, somehow, the evil presently prevailing throughout the world can be resolved, without further loss of life and bring about a greater understanding between the different peoples and cultures within it.

I wish you all a peaceful Christmas.

,

If you are interested in a Boat Trip to the Norfolk Broads, please contact us.

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