The Tuesday Club (renamed c.2020 The Tuesday Burchett Club) was formed in 1996, with the aim of providing monthly meetings and support for local people with disabilities or difficulties.
In addition to the monthly meetings with entertainment (now held in the Corn Exchange), there are about a dozen Sunday outings each year and a Summer Holiday.
The following text was given by the Chairman, John Hollister, to the Rotary Club of Hungerford on 22 Feb 2011:
"Firstly may I thank you for inviting me here tonight and, for you wonderful donation towards our disabled holiday. Your kindness has ensured that every one of the three holidays planned for 2011 have now been partly sponsored. In March and April we visit Eastbourne for Three night breaks, whilst our holiday in July is for a full seven days also in Eastbourne. Why Eastbourne?. Way back in 2000 I made enquiries into disabled breaks, finding suitable accommodation was not particularly easy. We arranged one in Minehead and the following two years in Weymouth. Facilities were okay but not really catering for the more severely disabled. So I found a number of a Hotel in Eastbourne who replied that they were unable to help, but they could give me the number of their other Hotel in the same Town. They were then, and still remain very friendly and helpful, since 2003 we have completed a total of twelve happy visits of either 3 or 7 night duration.
So who are The Tuesday Club?, formed in 1996 succeeding The Burchett Club applying for Trust status. The objective being to provide a meeting place on a monthly basis for people with difficulties, to make new friends, be provided with entertainment and afternoon tea. I have been a member ever since the first function a Christmas Party, which the inaugural committee members had funded out of their own pockets as no grants etc had been applied for. I took on the post of Secretary in September 1997, introducing Coach outings and soon after Coach holidays, the first of which saw three separate incidents put any further tours at risk. This first one was to Torquay, the idea seemed quite feasible, although arrangements were to be made through a Coach Company in Bristol, it's owner being the owner of the Hotel we were to visit. At no stage in communication was the Coach detail given other than timings etc. When the Coach arrived, it turned out to be a double decker with spiral staircase up to where most were seated, as very few seats were available downstairs for the more severely disabled. On arrival at the Hotel, a lady using crutches was coming down the stairs when one of her crutches fell and hit another lady on her head. Once inside a mix up in room allocation led to two ladies changing rooms with an elderly couple as they had been allotted a double bed. In the move one of the ladies kicked her handbag under the bed accidentally, then accused her room mate of stealing her bag. Whilst trying to deal with this situation, another lady from our group had tripped in her room and broken her shoulder in addition to a black eye. This meant a trip first to Torquay Medical Centre, then on to Torbay Hospital for treatment. Having arrived in Torquay at 3.45pm, we eventually arrived back at 10pm. Thankfully these holidays were to continue for several years, twice to Scotland and Wales, once to Southern Ireland and also many areas of England.
In 2002 a concerted effort was carried out to raise funds in order to achieve us purchasing a vehicle of our own. Help came from many local organisations as well as our own fund-raising events. This saw the arrival of a tail lift facility 12 seater Bus in June 2004. In August of the same year we moved from our base at the British Legion to The Corn Exchange, due to the increase of members to over 100.
We also attained Registered Charity status in March 2003 once an appendage had been added to our former title, since when we are officially The Tuesday Club Hungerford.
Our current itinerary includes a Coach outing on the first week of every month from Spring through to Autumn, Club Meetings in the second week, an outing for those unable to board a Coach are taken in our vehicle in week three, and Pub Lunches on Tuesday and Thursday of week four. Fund-raising events such as Prize Bingo, Sales on Town Hall steps and general Collections etc are fitted in between. The Committee meet every month and the Trustees three times a year.
I think it would be fair to say that The Tuesday Club has come a long way since it's first formal event, that first Christmas Party, and today we have a healthy Bank Balance. At the latest Audit we were just £319 of income over expenditure from the annual budget of thirteen and a half thousand pound, a small profit only, though indication of the benefits that our members enjoy. The current aim is to add a second adapted vehicle to our acquisitions as soon as possible. Several options are being considered at this time. I became Chairman in 2005 and have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges that have required attention throughout our short, but very exciting history. Just after taking on the Secretarial position, it was evident that an Audit was to be a priority. Much of the year's income was accountable, however the outgoings were paid to a large extent in cash. Somehow Jack Williams was able to make up a Balance sheet from the limited detail given by way of receipts etc. In that first eleven months a profit margin of £1,150.00 was made. Pleased to report things have improved considerably since!"