A new charity fundraising initiative has been launched to help the residents of Marlow as 2020 comes to an end.

This year has been dominated by the outbreak of coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of 47,700 people in the country.

The idea, which is a ‘Tree of Hope’, was launched by the Marlow Rotary Club and Marlow Town Council, which offers residents the opportunity to leave a dedicated message to a loved one, and to make a small donation to some local charities on a website that has been made for the initiative.

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The charities in question are the following:

• The Marlow Mayor’s charity (mental health in young people)

• Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice

• South Bucks Hospice

• Thames Valley Adventure Playground (for children with special needs)

• Marlow Age Concern

Marlow Mayor Richard Scott said: “This is a fantastic idea.

“So simple and so appropriate for these difficult times.

“I really thank the Marlow Thames Rotary Club for the work they have done both on this initiative and so many other activities.

“I urge all those connected with our town to join together to ensure they make an expression of goodwill that really makes a difference to some very deserving good causes.”

Nicole Hockly, President of Marlow Thames Rotary Club added: “With so many events cancelled, we wanted to come up with something different – something that will resonate in these challenging times.

“Some of our members came up with this idea – and they have built the website page and developed the idea from scratch.

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“The costs have entirely been born by the club – and we really hope that members of the public will support us in adding some brightness to these rather dark days”.

The idea came into play on Tuesday, November 3, which encourages residents to send a virtual message along with a donation.

Then, if the donor requests it, members of Marlow Thames Rotary Club will decorate the real 'Tree of Hope' with lights.

The tree is by the war memorial on the Causeway near All Saints Church.

For more information about the tree, visit the website, https://visufund.com/christmas-tree-of-hope-2020.