A FORMER Andover town mayor will be selling her own Christmas cards for charity after winning a competition.

Barbara Long took part in a challenge to design a Christmas Card for Brendoncare, a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life for older people, whilst attending one of the organisation’s Saturday Club events in Andover.

The Saturday Club meets at the United Reformed Church Hall, in East Street, and months after making her Christmas creation at one of the club's meetings, she was informed that her design had been selected as the winner.

It will now be available in select shops in the area, with the ex-councillor also having a stash of her own to sell on behalf of the charity.

Barbara says she got involved with the Brendoncare Saturday Club during her time as mayor of Andover town council.

She had been looking to arrange an Andover meet-up for the Great Get Together, a national social event in memory of Jo Cox – the MP who was killed in West Yorkshire – and the charity’s Saturday Club base provided the perfect location.

Barbara then became a regular attendee of the club’s meet-ups, including those during last year’s Christmas build-up when guests tried their hand at designing their own Christmas cards.

And the former mayor’s handiwork proved to be far better than she gave herself credit for.

“We had the chance of taking them home or leaving it. I just left it and it must have gone off to head office,” she said.

“I never even thought that it would be my card that was chosen, so I was very surprised when they came back and said, ‘your card is the one.’

Barbara’s card will now be available to purchase from the Winchester Tourist Information Centre, while she is also hoping to have it stocked in other outlets in Andover.

And she has been given sets of her own to sell to friends, family and others across the town, with all proceeds going to Brendoncare.

The charity’s social club, the Andover branch of which meets on Saturday mornings at the United Reformed Church Hall, is vitally important to older people facing loneliness and isolation, says Barbara.

“They might go out shopping or for a walk and that might be the only time they interact with someone,” she said.

“With the club they can go along and chat with someone and have a cup of tea – and I think that’s vitally important for the older generation.”

For more information about Brendoncare and Barbara’s Christmas cards go to brendoncare.org.uk