Town’s oldest charity closes

This week's front and back.

STRATFORD-UPON-AVON’S oldest local charity, the Mayor’s Fund, is to close this year.

Founded in 1921 and established in 1935 to address a perceived need in the town of ‘widespread poverty and distress’, countless Stratford families have benefited for nearly 100 years because of the charity’s work.

In 1935, 130 tickets were issued to families for groceries, coal and children’s boots. In this year of 2017, the Mayor’s Fund has 26 elderly town residents on its books.

Typically, they receive three £25 grocery vouchers per year for summer, Christmas and New Year.

The Mayor’s Fund Trustees agreed in April that now is the time for the residue of its funds — estimated at several thousand pounds — to be managed by another charity with similar objectives.

Trustee, Kevin Hand, said: “The Stratford branch of the Citizens’ Advice Bureau (CAB) has been identified as the preferred option.

“The experience and expertise of the CAB will mean that elderly Stratford residents will continue to be supported in a more targeted manner with better sign posting to a range of other benefits.”

A letter and £25 voucher will be given to each recipient this summer.

The letter will explain how to get in touch with CAB so recipients can liaise directly with them.

Mr Hand added: “There are tremendous feelings of sadness but also pride. We are Stratford’s oldest charity and we’ve helped a lot of people over the years.”

The Mayor’s Fund is separate from the charities chosen by a mayor during their term of office