The Halloween event was a work in progress over five months, with sessions at the Garstang Hub creating graves and the Pirate ship. We expanded the event to include new projections, the ship with treasure chest and smoking cannon, lights, competitions, word search with wand prizes, hot dogs and a green screen graveyard while promoting the NHS campaign 'Every Mind Matters'.
Myself, David, Becky, Elliott, George and Karen built the ship from a former children's playhouse donated by Councillor Warren. The event was advertised with 2,500 flyers distributed to local primary schools and business's in Breightmet, on the back of the flyer was the 'Every Mind Matters' information with a URL link for people to review in their own time.
As part of the developing relationships we have in Bolton, we teamed up with Alun Morris from 'Red Lane Community Growing Project' to bring some of our Halloween display to their allotments. The joint promotion allowed us to ensure we held different dates and saved on costs by promoting both events with one flyer. Bolton At Home also kindly provided two gazebos for our event, which was much needed, as well as providing resources and Halloween decorations from their event to ours.
Back at the Halloween Spooktacular, at the side of the Pirate Ship we built 'Simons Ramshackle shack', a place for the children to enter their drawings into the competition along with suggested names for the pirate ship. The children had been encouraged to take their pictures home, but provide their names on paper with which we entered them into the competition, on the back of the competition and front was yet more Mind Matters information.
Meanwhile, in the Halloween house, Adele handed out over one hundred cupcakes to children that she had baked as a contribution to the event from herself, along with over one hundred Halloween wands that NEWT had made for the event that glowed under UV light.
Then, after an hour, the rain came, that rain that soaks you through, people stopped coming through the gates and slowly people began to leave and quite rightly because it was drenching weather. Using the video camera we left running as a way to tally numbers and using the cupcake count, we were able to count between 140 and 150 children and roughly 280 - 300 people in total. Had it not rained, we would have expected 200 children and over 350 people altogether.
As I was on the Pirate ship for the night, I wasn't able to grab as many pictures or videos of the event to share as I would like, but a big thank-you goes out to the volunteers who gave up their time to make this event happen. Stuart, Adele, Connah, Karen, Jasmine, Becky, David, June, Sue, Neve, James, Malaika, Verity, Tegan, George, Melanie (SPAWN), Lisa (SPAWN) and Elliott. It is only through grant funding, volunteers and having such a positive group community spirit that we are able to and continue to provide these community events. We hope everyone really enjoyed it, and we look forward to next year being bigger and better with yet more weather protection against those dastardly October rains. Helen Jackson "Fantastic event! Took my cousins children and they loved it, it was brilliant! Xx"
Melanie Hardman "we braved the rain an wind about 7.15 . looked fab an was loved by my 4 grandbabies xx"
"Fantastic well done a lot of hard work by you guys paid of what an awesome night" Denley Walton "Absolutely brilliant as always! You do us proud xx"
Turner Marie Fay
"Thankyou so much for putting on this event my children loved it!"