Henley Mutual Aid and Brakspear have joined forces to help Henley residents celebrate the VE Day anniversary in style on Friday.
Brakspear are offering a free drink to all town residents who were alive on VE Day in 1945 as part of a plan to see every household enjoying a tea party at home to mark the 75th anniversary of the day World War II ended.
Henley Mutual Aid, the volunteer-run organisation ensuring no-one is missed out of help and support during the Covid-19 outbreak, wanted to lift spirits and help people celebrate safely.
Emma Taylor, who is on the group’s core team, said: “We felt it was a perfect opportunity for people to come together emotionally if not physically, and to honour those who lived through that momentous day 75 years ago.
“We approached Brakspear because the brewery is synonymous with the town and we were sure they’d want to join with us to offer a gift to those residents who can remember the original VE Day.”
Tom Davies, Chief Executive of Brakspear, said: “We were truly delighted to be involved in this initiative to help Henley celebrate VE Day and lift spirits in the community. We want to offer a free pint of Brakspear or a glass of wine to enjoy post-lockdown, to all the Henley residents that were alive on VE Day in 1945. Social distancing has taken a toll on the majority of us and we hope this may brighten a few spirits. Gift receivers can enjoy their drink in either the Little Angel, the Bull on Bell Street, or the Crown at Playhatch.”
Ms Taylor added: “We are also planning a whole-town tea party at home, encouraging people to set up in their front garden if it’s safe and to join in the Nation’s Toast at 3pm.”
The group and Brakspear have also encouraged households to decorate their front windows or gardens with VE Day bunting alongside the red, white and blue that the Henley-on-Thames and Peppard Branch of the Royal British Legion is asking residents to put in windows.
The wording for the toast and a template for colour-in bunting are available on the Facebook event on the Henley Mutual Aid page.
“We really hope everyone has a wonderful time celebrating this momentous day in our history,” said Tom.
Ms Taylor added: “It has been so wonderful how all the town has pulled together through this crisis, just as it did during the war. And just like then, we also know we will meet again when restrictions are lifted. In the meantime, we can enjoy a socially distanced at-home tea party apart but together.”
To claim your Brakspear drink voucher or to nominate a Henley Resident for one, email email@example.com with the name, month and year of birth, and home address of the recipient.