What can I say other than what an amazing community we have here in Breightmet. Earlier in the year we had been contacted by Lorraine from Asda who informed us of a grant fund of up to a £1000 to put on a celebration event, we had previously joined Fiona in adding some fairy houses to the forest she had led and championed on. As we got talking, we all put together ideas of how we could promote the fairy forest and do something nice for the kids in Breightmet as it had been two years since our last big event. Work commenced in May as we began sorting and collecting felled trees that we harvested from the meadow at Leverhulme Park.
All the wood used at the event was removed responsbily as part of the management plan at Leverhulme Park (trees in a meadow are just a forest!). The Garstang Hub was an essential location that allowed us to store and prepare the fairy houses, magic wands, tables and assorted equipment. In early August we got the approval from Asda regarding the grant and went on an immediate buying spree with fingers crossed that everything would arrive in time, car trips a plenty with volunteers like Jasmine, Adele, Sue and David giving up their free time to run around Bolton grabbing everything we needed and as the final day approached we also needed to make 120 packed lunches. Myself and Adele purchased all the food from Asda and then spent 6 hours making all the packed lunches with help from Sue.
There was also a lovely kind gesture from Hilary Fairclough who donated all the water and drinks for the childrens packed lunches for the event, and as for the raffle we had donations from the community flying in from everywhere. Thanks goes to George, Cosatto, Jodie, Kirsty, Adele, Stuart, myself and Simon made fairy houses for the raffle, Jasmine made six pieces of wire art, Lindsay from Fayths fizz bombs there had also been donations on the day and apologizes if I forgot anyone.
With everything in place, the event was a massive success for us with an attendance of over 400 people (we left a camera running for four hours to get a head count). We divided the event location over a massive 170 meter distance to ensure there wasn't large crowds, each table had hand sanitizer and what can I say other than this event wouldn't have happened had the following people not given up their entire Sunday to make this event happen: Sue Banks, Sue Dunkley, George Dunkley and his sister, Alun Morris, Jasmine, Adele, Simon, Fiona and Fiona's mum Jane.
At the event we went through 150 unique handmade fairy houses, 240 marshmallows, 120 packed lunches, 20 litres of vimto and 20kg of clay. Although it's lovely to do these events for the community, there was a moment a volunteer explained later to myself about two children who came to the event without parents and asked for a packed lunch as they hadn't eaten so far that day. It's a little daunting to hear that from kids but at least for that day the kids had a healthy meal, roasted marshmallows, enjoyed making their own fairy house and went away having been part of a community. One of the nicest things at the event was seeing so many people chatting to each other, even the kids got excited at seeing their friends from school they hadn't seen for quite a while. Overall this was by far one of the biggest, most intensive events we've done but the impact for the community on the day made it all worthwhile.