OVER 70 guests helped a Winchester charity’s annual general meeting celebrate its 25th anniversary.

The Mayor of Winchester, Cllr Frank Pearson and the High Sheriff of Hampshire, Mark Thistlethwayte, joined Friends of the Family associates at the lunch.

Cllr Pearson told them: “I have been involved with Friends of the Family for many years now and it is a pleasure to be here today to recognise the valuable work they do and to celebrate with them.

“You support families who are very much alone without family members close by to help them.

“You help to pick up the pieces of families and make a positive difference to their lives. Thank you so much on behalf of everyone in Winchester.”

Anne Titman, who co-founded the charity in 1993, also attended the celebration along with the charity’s patron, Bishop John Dennis, and former chairman Andrew Rutter.

Viv Wheeler, chairman of trustees, said: “I’d like to thank you all for coming to celebrate this milestone in Friends of the Family’s history.

“We are lucky to have a fantastic board of trustees, committed members, marvellous staff and dedicated volunteers who offer non-judgemental support and friendship to families in need.

“Thank you also to everyone who has donated or raised funds to enable us to continue our work helping families overcome enormous challenges and focus on building a healthy family life for the future.”

The charity offers guidance to vulnerable young families, providing twice-weekly support group for mums with young children, a befriending service for children aged 5 to 13, one-to-one counselling for dads and a monthly dads group.