The newly appointed High Sheriff of Berkshire, Mrs Mary Riall visited the Fair Close Centre to meet with volunteer drivers, staff and Meals on Wheels Co-ordinators.

After meeting staff and volunteers who were in the midst of collecting the hot lunch service to deliver to the homes of the elderly across West Berkshire, Mrs Riall said, “The team at Fair Close have done an incredible job supporting the elderly and vulnerable in and around Newbury during lockdown. It was a real pleasure to be able to meet some of the volunteers whose tireless hard work, commitment and efficiency have enabled hundreds of nutritious hot meals to be delivered to those most in need throughout this difficult time. Cheerful volunteers arriving, often daily, with food, a smile and time for a chat have provided a physical and mental lifeline to so many. The volunteers have been awesome and all of us in the wider community owe them a huge debt of thanks.”

It was Mrs Riall’s first visit to the Fair Close Centre since she was sworn in as High Sheriff of Berkshire by video link in April from home due to the coronavirus. Again, due to social distancing, all the meetings took place outside the Centre in the sunshine and both volunteers and staff enjoyed the opportunity to meet the High Sheriff of Berkshire and talk about the role of the Fair Close Meals on Wheels service in the local community.

Chair of the Trustees of Age Concern Newbury & District which runs the Fair Close Centre, Mrs Josie Reed said, “We were delighted to welcome Mary Riall to the Fair Close Centre so that she could see for herself the incredible work that our wonderful volunteers and staff are doing to support the senior citizens in our community. Whilst we cannot yet re-open the Centre, we continue to provide a friendly meals on wheels service and welfare advice to a large number of vulnerable elderly people. On behalf of all the volunteers and staff, I would like to thank Mrs Riall for taking the time to visit us and look forward to the time when we can show her around the inside of the Fair Close Centre as well!”