MORE than 30 years ago, four friends decided to organise a jumble sale to raise funds for their village school. The group has since evolved into the award-winning Jumblies, raising more than £300,000 for 70-plus charities.

Back in 1986 Sheriff Hutton Primary School needed to raise money for a new classroom, so as part of the fundraising campaign, four friends - school secretary Doreen Langdale, reception teacher May Barner, caretaker Doreen Lynch and parent Penny Bean, started to run jumble sales.

When the classroom had been completed, the friends decided that as they enjoyed running the sales, and as other organisations in the village needed to raise money, they would just carry on.

As the jumble sales grew bigger the name The Jumblies evolved.

They recruited a few other like-minded people and widened their remit to include other charities and organisations in the Ryedale and York areas, as well as national charities that provide support to people in the Sheriff Hutton area.

Penny, one of the founding members, said: “Sadly Doreen Langdale and May Barner have since died, but May still helped at the sales at the age of 93.

Until recently Doreen Lynch was still a very active member of the Jumblies, renowned for her crazy hats and constant happy banter, but due to mobility problems she is now unable to take an active part and she is missed by Jumblies and buyers.

“There are currently 22 Jumblies with ages ranging from 15 to 70-plus. The new red polo shirts the Jumblies wear were paid for with a grant received from the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, earlier last year, in recognition of the work we do.

“Over the years The Jumblies have raised money for more than 70 organisations. There is a two-year waiting list of groups that are keen to have a jumble sale.

“The total raised in 2017 reached almost £19,500, which means we have now passed the £300,000 mark since starting 31 years ago.

“A lot of hard work is involved organising the events and collecting jumble from friends, neighbours, colleagues, relatives, etc. Jumble sale day has been likened to a military operation.

“Buyers come from all over Yorkshire to take advantage of the bargains on offer and many good relationships have been forged with regulars, some of whom have supported The Jumblies for many years.

“We also receive a huge amount of support from the local community who are keen to share in their achievements.”

In 2007 The Jumblies received the Duke of York’s Community Initiative Award, and last year were shortlisted for the Queens Award for Voluntary Services.

Penny said: “The Jumblies are a very hardworking, effective team who put the fun into fundraising, and turn cast offs into cash, demonstrating the true meaning of recycling, whilst benefitting the environment by reducing the amount going to landfill and serving the community.”