Cotswold Friends

Local charity Cotswold Friends celebrated its 40th birthday this week with a party at the stunningly beautiful Lapstone Barn near Chipping Campden. Over 160 volunteers, clients, staff and supporters enjoyed classic cars, cake and conversation in recognition of the charity’s achievements over the years.  The charity began as the Voluntary Help Centre (VHC) in 1978 and was originally set up with the aim of helping and supporting local volunteers and matching them to volunteering roles across the area.    Amanda Howard, CEO at Cotswold Friends said “This gathering today is a clear example of the community spirit of the North Cotswolds.  Without this community spirit, Cotswold Friends would not exist.”  Today, Cotswold Friends has over 350 volunteer roles filled and supports up to 2,000 older and vulnerable people in the North Cotswolds with a diverse range of services.  Cotswold Friends is proud to have served the local community for so long and even prouder of all the volunteers throughout the last forty years, whose selfless donation of time and effort has made such a difference to so many people’s lives.

Myra Whitehouse, original member of the VHC Steering Committee, was welcomed as guest of honour for the day.  Myra gave a lovely speech within which she said “…The joy of volunteering is to be able to offer something to somebody else and you get things back, and this enriches your life as much as you are enriching somebody else’s…”  Myra raised a toast to Cotswold Friends and cut the specially designed birthday cake.  Cotswold Friends would like to thank Lapstone Barn for donating the venue, Aldi and Budgens for the food and drink, Kate Hunter for the birthday cake, Christine Ramsey for the flower arrangements and Louise Bowles for the professional photography. Without these generous donations the event would not have been possible.  If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, Cotswold Friends would love to hear from you.  Please contact Sheryl Murray on Tel: 01608 697007, or visit the website at  Contact Information: Cotswold Friends, Moreton Area Centre, High Street, Moreton-in-Marsh, GL56 0AZ.  Tel: 01608 651415,  Email:,