A CHARITY celebrating 40 years helping in the community has pledged to do more to help the most vulnerable in society.

The Beaconsfield Community Association marked four decades at its luncheon club for the elderly at its Christmas party this month.

Around 50 guests were joined by Mayor Sandy Saunders as they donned their party hats to enjoy a turkey dinner and all the trimmings at Beaconsfield’s Curzon Centre, where the BCA holds its weekly lunch.

Running for 30 years, the club provides a meeting place for older people, with a revolving team of 40 volunteers including Elizabeth Mears, who hasn’t missed a week in all that time.

Chairman Hans Van Zetten, who took on the role in 2010, used the Christmas party to give thanks to the dedicated team which has provided an unbroken service throughout the decades.

And the retired fruit importer wants to use the landmark anniversary to raise awareness of the charity’s objective to provide a helping hand to those with the most urgent need.

He said: “I want to thanks all our volunteers. It is their efforts week in week out that makes it all possible and we are so grateful for all they do.

“Celebrating 40 years of the charity is a real achievement and so far we have concentrated our efforts on the luncheon club but it would be great to do more.

“We have had some large donations so hopefully we can spread our wings to help more vulnerable people and build up our relationships with organisations in the town to find out who is the most needy.”

The Christmas party doubled as a celebration of the organisation’s 40 years, with Father Christmas making an appearance and jazz band the South Bucks stompers providing the entertainment.

As well as the Luncheon Club, the BCA raises funds with the aim of providing special equipment for residents in the greatest need, such as wheelchair or a washing machine.

The association also runs a coach trip twice a year to give those in the community who are not often able to leave the area a much-needed change of scenery.

Mr Van Zetten also wants to reach out to the youth in Beaconsfield, having worked with youth organisation Street Dreamz in the past.

He criticised recent opposition to the skate park, which a group of young people raised thousands of Pounds towards before the project was dismissed by the Town Council.

Mr Van Zetten said: “In a place like the Curzon Centre you have people from age five to 75 so it’s important to get involved with what young people are doing as well.

“With the Skate Park, the young people raised this huge amount of money towards something they wanted, and who are we to stand in their way and tell them no?”

The group was given a boost this year when Sainsbury’s in Beaconsfield named the group as its charity of the year. And to bolster funds, volunteers are holding collections at the Maxwell Road store on January 17 and 18.

To get involved in fundraising or to find out more about the charity, contact chairman Hans Van Zetten on 01494 674142 or email hansvanzetten@hotmail.co.uk