The last event planned by life-long fundraiser Barrie Smith from Haydon Wick became a celebration of his community work at a concert held at St John’s Church in Haydon Wick in late February.
A keen bowls player, former governor of Haydonleigh Primary School and headteacher of Rodbourne Cheney Primary, Barrie passed away on 12 December, following a short struggle with cancer.
The concert raised £960 for Willows Counselling Service, but Barrie’s widow Kathleen has been able to donate a further £2,500 to the cause from funeral donations and from the proceeds of the last cryptic quiz that Barrie had set.
Kathleen said: “Barrie enjoyed setting quizzes based on things like Wiltshire villages and British place names which were sold at £1 a time. They were always really popular. The last quiz he set closed on 31 January and raised £617. The winners received their prizes, donated by RSM Tenon, at the concert.”
Both Barrie and Kathleen were involved in a wide range of good causes over the years, including Swindon Scouts, Young Musicians and Haydon Wick Bowls Club, which they helped to build and where Barrie was club secretary for 15 years.
Mayor of Swindon’s charities
In 2010 the couple were asked by their friend Rex Barnett to join his fundraising committee during his year as mayor of Swindon to support his three chosen charities: Willows, CALM (Cancer & Leukaemia Movement) and the Prospect Hospice.
Rex’s stated aim was to beat the fundraising record for a mayoral year and Barrie and Kathleen went on to help him raise £70,000, beating the record by an astonishing £40,000.
Commenting on the success of February’s concert, Kathleen said: “It was exactly how Barrie had planned; he would have absolutely loved it.
“I am very grateful to Geoff Walters and his singing group Encore who donated their performance, to the church and to Howard Smith, the treasurer of Willows, and his family who were very helpful in making the final arrangements for the evening.”
Pictured: Kathleen Smith, centre, with Rex and Sandra Barnett, left, and quiz winners John Hilford, Val Hemmens and Rachael Hudd, and rear left, joint organiser Howard Smith.