Parishioners from All Saints Church, Leighton Buzzard, have been helping us with aid for several years, via Janet Page, a long-time volunteer who lives in a nearby village.

In 2018 Partners in Mission at the church took the momentous decision to sponsor Solent Challenger for one of its journeys.

They raised the money by

  • Holding an Asian fusion dinner. 
  • Collecting loose change in 'jars of hope’ during Lent.
  • Holding an amateur raffle, selling lorry shaped tickets for a pound, which were then affixed to a map showing the journey from the UK to Greece
  • A Pimm’s and Canapés evening in the summer, at which Janet spoke and displayed photographs, showing the conditions in the camps and some of the challenges the refugees and volunteers encounter.
  • A portion of the weekly free-will giving, summer and autumn fetes and other donations.

We asked why they decided to support us, here are some of the comments we received:

  • Margaret Wallace said "the work that Hope and Aid Direct does is so relevant during one of the biggest challenges to affect Europe when governments seem paralysed to take appropriate action". 
  • Molly Bowerman commented that "it was good to have the personal contact with Janet, as it facilitated a greater trust and commitment on our part". 
  • Christine Stopford liked "the frequent and detailed updates in the parish newsletter etc. as these helped to foster the feeling of a genuine partnership". 
  • James Legg said “those attending the Pimm’s event, were impressed by the talk Janet gave.  It is certainly one of the best we have had.”
  • James also told Janet ‘Usually, we support a wide range of local, national and international organisations during the course of the year.  We are particularly interested in those organisations where there is some personal connection because this way, we can have greater confidence that the money is being used wisely.  However, last year was the first year that we decided to make a single organisation the subject of so much of our activity, and that is largely testament to the connection we had with you.’