2022 – A round up our work!

Another year over, another year helping our community.

Together with our army of volunteers, we have achieved so much again this year spending over £55,000 helping our community.

  • St George’s Day Market
  • Easter Lunch for over 65s
  • 500 Easter Eggs for 97 families and 50 over 65s
  • Wantage Carnival
  • Family Coach trip Cotswold Wildlife Pk
  • Family Coach Trip to Southsea
  • Numerous household goods to needy residents
  • Safety Bed for a 10yr old boy with autism
  • Wantage Food & Drink Festival
  • Marshaling all Newbury St Practices Covid and Flu clinics
  • Setup Energy Support Fund
  • Marshaled Dickensian Evening
  • Christmas Day Dinner
  • 150 Christmas Hampers

All the Trustees would like to thank everyone who has contributed to us this year either with their valuable time or money. We can only do what we do with your support.

On New Year’s Eve, the whole world celebrates the fact that a date changes.

Let us celebrate the dates on which we change the world.

We look forward to working alongside our wonderful volunteers, supporters, and sponsors again next year enabling us to keep helping our community in 2023 as we continue making a real difference in our community.

Peace, love, and good health to you all.


Christmas 2022

For Christmas this year, we hosted our annual TRCCT Christmas Day Dinner at Down to Earth Cafe space in Wantage. Our guests had a fantastic time, and I think you’ll agree the pictures speak for themselves. As always we were delighted to be able to put on such a great event, with thanks for the ongoing support and donations received throughout the year.

We have lots of people to thank for all of their hard work….

Massive thank you to Phil & Hazel, Sarah & Julie at Charlton Park Garden Centre for the amazing Christmas table decorations. The guests absolutely loved them.

Thank you so much to Louise, Brett, Phillip, Viv, Will, Jo (her daughter & Friend) Hugh, Allyson, Lisa, and Tom for such a superb effort in just over an hour, to set up and get the space ready for Christmas! This included laying the tables, setting up the chair covers and bows, and setting up the free prize draw prizes ready to surprise our guests.

Thank you, King Alfred’s School, for loaning us the crockery and cutlery.

Thank you, Carl, for collecting our wonderful table decorations from Charlton Park Garden Centre.

A massive thank you to Melanie Breakspear, Castel Fairlie, Di Slatter, Kate Farrington, and Rob White for prepping and cooking a beautiful meal.

Thank you to Carl Nennstiel Giles Roddy Bedford, Phil, Mandy, Will Harvey (minibus) John Durban, Jasyn and Geoff Corker for driving.

Thanks to Jim Mitchell for the Christmas sing-along. Amazing work by Jo, Chloe, Livvy, Zachary, Will Harvey, Gareth, Hugh, Phil, Viv, Jason for all their hard work during the day and clearing up at the end.

Thank you also to the Oxford Mail for our feature in the local news! Details below:


and finally…. thanks to anybody we haven’t mentioned above, who has provided their time in planning, preparation, or organisation for the delay, and to those who work tirelessly with us throughout the year, without you – events like this wouldn’t be possible.

What an amazing team and community effort this has been again this year!

South Sea Day Trip 2022

Fantastic Day Trip to Southsea today with 12 families including 33 children.

The Trust paid for the coach and lunch including the driver. A great day was had by all!

A huge thank you to everyone who continues to support us. Your generosity enables us to keep making a real difference in our community, especially in these financially challenging times.

The Ray Collins Charitable Trust honoured by Her Majesty the Queen

The Ray Collins Charitable Trust honoured by Her Majesty the Queen

The Ray Collins Charitable Trust has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service – the “MBE of the Voluntary Groups” – the highest award in the voluntary sector in the UK. The award aims to recognise outstanding work by volunteer groups that benefit their local communities.

In addition to the award the Trust have also received special recognition for our exceptional COVID response over the last fifteen months.  The Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire will present the Trust with a Certificate from Her Majesty the Queen along with a Crystal dome, with the extra engraving ‘with special recognition- COVID 19’ and specially commissioned pin badges. Two representatives of the Trust will also be invited to a Royal Garden Party in 2022.

Only registered as a Charitable Trust five and a half years ago, the Trustees were surprised by our nomination and left speechless when we received the news, we had been awarded such a prestigious award. The award reflects the positive impact we have had on our local community, especially during COVID, and through our normal charity activities; such as The Wantage Carnival, Christmas and Easter Day dinners for elderly and vulnerable adults, day trips for those living in isolation and disadvantaged families, supplying emergency appliances to those in need, supporting seriously ill and or seriously injured people of all ages.

The Trust continues to work with over 60 local organisations, businesses, schools, County, District, Town and Parish councils, charities, churches and registered community groups and has 170 volunteers who signed up and rose to the ever-changing challenges and dangers of Covid in our community.

During the last fifteen months the Trust raised £135,000, spending over £40,000 on shopping for families, supplying 1000 meals on wheels and 500 slices of cake for elderly people shielding, £12,000 on emergency electrical appliances & furniture for families hit financially or because of domestic abuse. We also donated £7,000 worth of goods and treats to all the local care homes, £1,700 on chocolate hampers for 60 local young carers, at Christmas spent £7,000 on hampers, £2131 on two Easter dinners and Christmas dinners for (70 each time) adults living in isolation and supplied 169 laptops to 7 local primary schools and King Alfred’s Academy costing £30,000 (a further 28 were supplied by a sponsor, £5,000 paid directly to King Alfred’s).

This award recognises the incredible efforts of all our volunteers who were out in all weathers shopping, delivering meals, delivering prescriptions, marshalling Flu Clinics before Christmas and every COVID vaccine clinic since January. We have played a small part in the delivery of over 20,000 vaccination jabs by the awesome clinicians at Newbury St and Church St practices at Mably Way Health Centre.  Usually, our volunteers give around 550 hours of their time a year for the trust, between March 2020- March 2021 this had risen to over 7500 hours and is still rising.

Ray Collins the Chair of the Trustees said “This a huge honour for everyone involved with charity, to receive national recognition from Her Majesty the Queen for our local charity highlights the variety and breadth of the incredible work we have done in our community over five years, hopefully this award will enable us to grow and help even more local people in ways we could never have imagined.

A massive thank you to all our volunteers including the COVID response management group who all volunteered and to my Trustees who are also all volunteers. Unity of passion and compassion is a rare gift, but it shines through in all our volunteers. They do their job with both, and that makes them genuine and dedicated volunteers, the best of the best. Our volunteers went above and beyond time and again.

Thank you all so very much for your tireless support, because of you over 2,500 people were kept safe and reassured with food, medication, kindness and compassion.

We are making a real difference in our community by encouraging local people to help local people, it doesn’t get any better than that”

Kind Regards

Ray Collins

Ray Collins BCA


June 2021.

Registered charity number 1173358.

Christmas Hampers 2019

As part of our continued efforts to provide support within the local community, we kicked off Christmas with our annual collections for the Ray Collins Charitable Trust hampers. We were overwhelmed, again, with the generosity from all of the local businesses and the wider community who helped, collected and donated items into our trolleys that were located in Sainsburys, Wantage.

We started our collections back in November and by the middle of December we had nearly all of the items that we required to pack our hampers. The Challow & Childrey Cricket Club kindly allowed us to store and pack the hampers, where we counted and packed everything from Rice and Pasta to Chocolate and Coffee! Any items that we hadn’t managed to collect, the trust were able to purchase as a result of our other fundraising events across the year.

With the help from our fantastic supporters, volunteers and the local police force, we were able to deliver hampers to our local residents in time for Christmas!!

Thank you to everyone who was able to contribute, together we are “Making a real difference in our community!”

Family day trip to the seaside

On Thursday 9th August local charity The Ray Collins Charitable Trust organised a seaside trip for twenty families from the Wantage area. Trustees Ray, Laura and Mel took 20 families including 50 very excited children with ages ranging from a few months to 17 to Southsea for a great day out.

Most of the families won’t have a holiday this year. Some have never had a holiday. Some of the children have never seen the sea.

The Trust hired a fantastic luxury 85-seat coach for £600 from Heyfordian Coaches, and arranged lunch for everyone at Mozzarella Joe’s Cafe, spending £670.

Fish and chips, pizza and chips or hotdog and chips, a drink and ice cream was enjoyed by all. The Trust organised vouchers so the families could eat when they liked and the cafe didn’t get overwhelmed. The food, portions and service were fantastic and we would highly recommend Mozzarella Joe’s if you are ever in Southsea.

“Oh, WOW!”

The families spent a lovely day together, having fun and making memories.

Some went for a dip as soon as they arrived and the water was surprisingly warm. Others toured the arcades, sat on the beach, played crazy golf and enjoyed the Funfair rides.

One young lad asked Ray, “Is that really the sea?”
When Ray replied “Yes”, the boy shrieked “Oh WOW!”

“What a fantastic seaside trip we had,” said Ray Collins afterwards. “I think the trustees had as much fun as the families.”

“Last year we took the families to Cotswold Wildlife Park. And whilst walking around I asked the children where they would like to go this year. Several children asked to go to the seaside, as they had never seen the sea. Which really surprised and saddened me.”

“So we decided there and then a seaside trip was definitely happening this year. I don’t think it matters how old or young you are. There is always something magical about going to the seaside. Add in fish and chips, and you have the perfect day.”

Coach trip to Waddesdon Manor

On Wednesday 11th July, the Ray Collins Charitable Trust organised their third annual coach trip for local people living in isolation.

The Trust hired a coach and booked tickets for a fantastic day out at Waddesdon Manor which included touring the gardens, Manor House and then afternoon tea for all.

A fantastic day for 41 local people

The coach arrived in Wantage Market Place at 9.15am, followed shortly by several drivers whom Ray had dispatched to collect the less mobile guests.

The more mobile guests walked to the Market Place and Ray checked everyone on to the coach. The Trust had borrowed several wheelchairs to help those who couldn’t manage a lot of walking, and these along with several walking frames were loaded into the coach.

Stirling’s Elderly Care were also invited and several residents plus four carers joined the trip, along with two extra carers from Day and Night Assistance.

The group enjoyed tea and coffee on arrival at Waddesdon. Then at midday the group split into two groups to tour the house. Everyone marvelled at the elegance and opulence on display in all the rooms.

The spiral staircase proved a challenge too far for the wheelchairs and quite challenging for the walkers. But most made it up the stairs to view the upper floor, bedrooms and bachelors apartments including the bedroom Winston Churchill used.

When Winston Churchill came to stay, he would request to stay in the Portico Bedroom, as he could step onto the porch roof to smoke a cigar. He was otherwise banned by Alice Rothschild from smoking anywhere else!

After viewing the house, smaller groups split off into the gardens and gift shop.

At 2.30pm everyone assembled in the restaurant ready for their afternoon tea. All the guests tucked in and really enjoyed a scrumptious tea. Delicious pea and pecorino tartlets, haddock & cheese tartlets, cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon roulade followed by macaroons, coffee cake, pecan and carrot cake, scones with jam & cream and the most beautiful panna cotta.

At 4pm the coach returned to take the group home, and a very happy but tired group arrived back in Wantage at 5.30pm. Drivers were already there ready to take everyone home.

A huge thank you to Angela Lindsay, Sarah Woodhouse, Tanja Salter, Lucy Notman plus Sarah Hill and Courtney Alexander for being amazing with all the guests.

Thank you to Russell & Jackie Stock, John Durban and Jan Taylor for driving in the morning and the evening.

Thanks also to Lee our driver from Abingdon Coaches, a great lad who was friendly and really helpful.

Feedback from our guests

“We had a wonderful day out and a lovely tea. Thank you, Mr Collins and the Trust.” ~ Mrs Johnson

“We enjoyed the beautiful house and delicious food, thank you all; we had a good time.” ~ Pam & Betty

“Thank you, Ray and all your helpers and team for another fantastic day out, I really had a lovely time.” ~ Angela

Breaking the cycle of loneliness

“I really enjoy days like today,” said Trust chairman Ray Collins. “Although they take a lot of organising and can be quite stressful on the day, we all had a lovely day out.”

“We toured a beautiful house and enjoyed a wonderful tea, made some new friends, learnt some new things and had a fun day in great company.”

“The day out cost £1600, paid from funds raised at the Wantage Carnival and other events run by the Trust. We will continue to try and break down the cycle of loneliness so many local people find themselves in. Days like today are how we keep making a real difference in our community.”

To find out how you can help us, or to donate, please get in touch.

Easter Charity Lunch 2018

Grove Rugby Club was a hive of activity on Easter Sunday, as once again they through open their doors for The Ray Collins Charitable Easter Dinner for local people living in isolation.

Volunteers set out and decorated the clubhouse the night before, ready for forty guests to enjoy a wonderful dinner.

At 10am Sunday morning, drivers left their homes wearing the Trusts purple hi-vis jackets to collect all the guests.

Phil Connolly, Jackie Nicholl and Lesley Tilbury had been at the club since 8am preparing a banquet for all.

The first guests arrived before 11am and were seated and offered tea, coffee or a soft drink.

At 12.00pm chicken & mushroom soup and a fresh crusty roll was served as the starter. All the guests cleared their bowls commenting how delicious it was.

Main course was next: roast beef, roast potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, green beans & peas, and sprouts with Yorkshire puddings and lashings of gravy. All this left at first the guests’ eyes, and then their stomachs bulging.

Desert was a wonderful apple and peach crumble with homemade custard. A few struggled to finish, but most had a very good go.

After a rest and tea & coffee, two of the Trusts youngest volunteers Owen Church (9 yrs old) and Sophia Champ (4yrs old) arrived with their mums.

Ray explained to the guests how Sophia and Owen plus mums Jenny & Lyndsey had spent all afternoon making Easter egg parcels for each guest to take home. Each parcel contained a large Easter egg, small eggs, Easter bunnies & sweets – all carefully wrapped in purple spotted cellophane and tied neatly in purple ribbon.

As the volunteers and Trustees handed out the eggs, guests remarked how wonderful they looked and how happy they were to receive them.

For many this was the only treat they received this Easter. We often forget a simple act of kindness can put a colossal burst of sunshine in someone’s life.

Several weeks prior to Easter, the Trust had been collecting Easter eggs in Waitrose Wantage. Over three weekends nearly 500 eggs were collected and dozens of small Easter treats.

Sainsbury’s also put out a trolley for the Trusts collection, where a further 150 were collected.

Ray and friend of the Trust Lyndsey Champ delivered eggs to Charlton Day Centre, The October Club, Grove Day Centre, Stirling’s Elderly Care Home.
Ray delivered eggs to Beatbox youth club and the Fitzwaryn School for children with disabilities.
Nearly 100 eggs went to Ronald MacDonald House and the Children’s Hospital Oxford. Far fewer than previously, due to the collection being 250 eggs less than previous years.

A massive thank you to Phil Connolly, Lesley Tilbury, Mick & Jane Rea, Duncan & Jackie Nicholl, Chris McCarthy for allowing us to use the club again, paying for all the food and creating such a wonderful meal.

Thank you to Kellie Walton, Lucy Notman and Tanja Salter for all their help on the day, and to Matthew Donaldson.

A huge thanks to all our drivers: Roddy Bedford and Giles Bedford, Russell & Jackie Stock, Mr Harvey, Katie Buckingham, John Durban, Jan Taylor and Oliver, Sarah Crayford.

We had serval no shows for various reasons such as illness & loneliness. So several dinners were delivered along with egg parcels.

All who attended went home stuffed full, happy to see their friends and very happy with their gifts. As one lady said, “Another very successful day from a very special charity.”

Fun evenings raising funds

The Ray Collins Charitable Trust held their second Blingo event at the Beacon Wantage. A fantastic evening on Friday 16th February raising funds for the people in our community.

Because of the wonderful generosity of everyone who came, we raised a sensational £2,600.

One hundred and eighty ladies enjoyed prosecco, bingo, canapés, cakes, chocolates, a raffle, photographs and glitter tattoos. And I think they quite liked the waiters as well 😉

Nine lucky ladies went home with jewellery as bingo prizes, including sparkly ring, ear studs, and a silver pendent worth £150.

Eight other lucky ladies won some amazing raffle prizes, including a Quick Fix Spa for Two at The Wellness Spa Letcombe Regis, a wonderful pamper hamper filled with lotions and creams from Marks & Spencer, plus over £100 worth of beauty vouchers, alcohol and chocolate hampers.

The Trust would like to say a massive thank you to:
Peter Casey Jewellery Boutique for once again sponsoring the event
– Present Day Cakes for donating 16 boxes of delicious treats
– Terry & Stephen Howkins for preparing 1600 canapés
– and all our waiters: Craig, Tim, Jethro, Damien, Ollie, Andrew, San and Jamie for coping magnificently with all the female attention and for working really hard for the Trust helping raise funds for local people.

Natalie Jezzard took some amazing photos and Rebecca Wright spread plenty of glitter to enhance the evening.

A big thank you to Andrew and Alex Janes, David Breakspear and Lyndsey Champ for helping set up the hall and all the fantastic staff at the Beacon who helped the night go so smoothly. Thank you Warren Brown for keeping an eye on the door.

All the Trustees worked tirelessly to put on another memorable night of fun and fundraising. Thank you Melanie Breakspear, Robert Huffnagle, Laura Beale and Kate McCormack and Matt for helping at the end.

Ray Collins really enjoyed his first go at being the Bingo caller. He’s already looking forward to next year’s edition.

The Trust’s Caribbean Quiz Night

On Friday 16th March, the Trust also held another of our fantastic Quiz Nights, the TRCCT Caribbean Quiz.

We raised an amazing £985!

But just as importantly, we had a fun-packed night with our supporters and hopefully recruited a couple of new volunteers.

Thanks again to Steve Broadley for being Quizmaster and to Terry Howkins for the fantastic food.

These events enable us to carry out our events such as day trips for the elderly living in isolation in July, and a seaside trip for deserving families in August.

To help us or donate, please contact us.

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