Community surprises a ‘remarkable’ fundraiser

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AMBERLEY resident Ivy Read has lived in the village all her life and has raised over £25,000 for local charities.

Ivy started The Ladybirds group with family and friends in 1974. the group organises charitable events such as jumble sales to raise cash for the charities.

Last week, as a way to say thank you for all her hard work the local community, her family and friends organised a special surprise party.

More than 80 people attended, including Ivy’s daughters, granddaughters and great-granddaughters.

Over the years she has supported a number of local charities including: The Dame Vera Lynn Trust School for Parents at Ingfield Manor School, near Billingshurst, St Barnabas House hospice in Worthing, Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice, near Arundel, Sussex Air Ambulance, and Amberley CE First School. Also in the past she has helped to organise the Amberley Revels and the Amberley Stoolball teams.

Tributes were paid by Dr Bob Hutchinson on behalf of the residents of Amberley, and Major Tom Wye on behalf of St Barnabas House and Chestnut Tree House. Sarah Ffoulkes Roberts read a letter from Dame Vera Lynn thanking Ivy for all of her valuable help and support for the trust in recent years, and Rex Charman talked about Ivy’s help in organising the Amberley Village Revels.

One of the organisers saluted Ivy’s hard work saying how she was ‘a remarkable lady for raising such a staggering sum.’ They continued that it was ‘a testament to her energy, commitment and dedication to helping some of those people of West Sussex who are most in need.’

The surprise afternoon tea party was held in St Michael’s Church Hall, Amberley, and was considered the village’s best kept secret.