The Wokingham Paper

Festive baubles from Share will honour life of Des the Duckman

The team at Share Wokingham are honouring Des Harding with a swan bauble Pictures: Share and Sam Harding

A WOKINGHAM volunteer will be honoured this Christmas for his charity work helping those in need.

Des Harding met the Share Wokingham team earlier this year, who have been working to provide free, high-quality food to anyone struggling.

Keen to not let food be wasted, Mr Harding helped to distribute anything left at the end of the day — which often included feeding swans with leftover bread.

Building on this memory, the team at Share Wokingham have created a physical tribute to Mr Harding, who died on Tuesday, September 29. He had been infected by the Covid-19 virus.

Volunteer Claire Revie said: “After much thought, we decided to make some Christmas baubles as a reminder of such a lovely man.

“The baubles contain a white feather and an image of his beloved swans and have a tag attached explaining the link between Des and Share.”

She added: “We fondly nicknamed him Des The Duck Man and he would often remind us he went to visit more swans than ducks.”

His daughter, Sam Harding told Wokingham.Today she was proud of the tribute.

“When they contacted us, asking to create these baubles, obviously we said yes,” she said. “I’m really proud of my Dad, he did a lot to support them. He did so much for everybody.”

Ms Revie added: “Des was always keen to help us, and when we needed to put together shelving for the store rooms at Share, he offered his assistance and spent a day building those for us.

“It was a shock when he called us in September to say that he had been contacted by track and trace and had to self-isolate.

“That week we put together food packages and really expected to see him again soon. Unfortunately his condition deteriorated, and after being admitted to hospital he passed away due to Covid-19.

“Des may no longer be with us, but his memory and legacy of kindness will carry on.”

After his death, the Harding family launched a fundraiser in his name, which saw £1,750 donated to Share Wokingham, First Days Children’s Charity, The Link Visiting Scheme and a swan charity.

And all profits from the bauble sales will go to food vouchers for people who are struggling.

There will also be a bauble included in each of the Christmas hampers put together by Share, Wokingham Foodbank and First Days.

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