As all events are cancelled due to Covid we had grant funding sat in our accounts not being used which was restricted for events. After much careful thought Bolton NEWT members came up with a plan to bring Halloween to Breightmet and Tonge, we would create a boardgame, completely unique and based on Leverhulme Park. While at the allotments, myself Simon and Gavin discussed concept ideas for the board game. We of course would need pieces to play so why not have the children make their own?
Using the maps I made of Leverhulme Park, I designed a Spooktackular board based on the park, as we continued to meet, trial the game and test the balance of the game, it dawned on us that making a game from nothing was actually pretty hard. We persevered and approached Chris Wood at Bolton At Home, requesting to use the grant funding for an A3 printer and purchase of clay and other bag fillers. Chris gave us his full approval and the work began, 100 bags would be made for Breightmet, it then dawned on us we could do the same for Tonge if we used the Tonge Big Local budget, we approached Michelle and she was fully supportive.
It wasn't long before we had the concpet, laminated map of Leverhulme Park, folded map of Leverhulme Park, folded map of Seven Acres, laminated A3 board game, handmade wand, witch spell cards, spooktackular cards, haribo, game rules, life cards, witch card, ten pumpkin stencils, a lump of clay and finally a dice. We felt the bags could do with more sweets but lacked the funding, the Coop contacted us and offered support and we contacted Morrisons to ask if they could help with the bags. Both agreed, it has a big impact to be supported by local business's in our community work.
There was now an abundance of sweets in the 200 bags, the game was ready, it would now just take three weeks of printing, laminating and packing the bags to finish the project and have them ready for sorting on the day of delivery. That day came and first it was Tonge, the next Saturday it was Breightmet.
A big thank you Councillor Warren, Councillor Newall, Stuart, Sue and Simon for helping to pack the bags and also deliever them to homes in Breightmet. A massive thank you to Bolton Play and Youth at Castle Hill for taking sixty of the bags which they handed out to children in Tonge. As we had NEWT funding we didn't just make 200 bags, we made 268 bags, being the softies we are, we felt bad for those who requested a bag but missed out. Everyone who applied got a bag.
The end results speak for itself as children had Halloween brought to them safely. Councillor Warren even took a step further to make it extra special by dressing as the Halloween Witch. Had it not been for the Garstang Allotments, we would have not been able to carry out this project. Hopefully next year we can host the event and for the kids they can enjoy a real Halloween with Bolton NEWT.