History of the Scheme
The Haddenham Fish Scheme was set up in 1973 as a good neighbour scheme to bring help quickly to those in need.
It was set up by Mrs Handfield Jones (wife of the local GP) and Mr Curtis both people who were actively involved in the local St Marys Church (which helps explain the use of the 'Fish' symbol). Founding committee members in the early years included Rosie Thirlwall, Freda Dorrell, Peter Jeffery, Mrs Norman and Mrs Firmin.
The Scheme originally operated via a comprehensive system of street wardens who acted as the contact point for arranging volunteers to provide help if required. Any person needing assistance would place a special card with the Fish symbol (as above) in their window to alert the street warden that they needed someone to call.
The main function of the Scheme now is to provide transport for those who need it. This is done via a register of volunteer drivers and a telephone rota of volunteers , many of whom are also drivers for the scheme.
Each week, a volunteer on the phone rota organises and acts as co-ordinator for the lifts that need arranging that week. Some trips are regular, eg weekly visits to the hairdresser or for shopping, others are variable, eg lifts to the Medical Centre. Each year the scheme carries out around 900 lifts for its 'clients'.
The Scheme is a registered charity and does not charge for its services. 'Clients' do however often like to make a donation as a token of their appreciation and these go towards the small running costs of the scheme (principally the annual insurance). These donations regularly exceed the Scheme's costs and the surplus(usually in the region of £150 per annum) is donated to local causes. Past recipients have included the Red Cross Day Centre, the Medical Centre, Age Concern and the Eye Unit at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
25 Year Celebration
The Scheme celebrated 25 years in operation with an anniversary tea-party in May 1998 attended by clients and volunteers.
40 Year Celebrations
In May 2013 the scheme celebrated with a 40th Anniversary Tea Party attended by clients and volunteers,totalling 90 persons,with entertainment by the Thame Children's Choir TCC2.