The spectacular success of both Wellington Carnival and the Street Fair last year has resulted in 50 local organisations – clubs, charities, and schools – benefitting from the £5,000 raised. Representatives from each one received cheques at a presentation evening at Wellington Rugby Club on 29 January.
Opening the evening, Carnival Chairman Dave Rylatt paid tribute to local people who had contributed to both events and warmly thanked all those who took part and worked as organisers to make them so successful.
Illustrating the value of money raised he recounted the way the Committee had paid for a Skype connection to Australia for an elderly nursing home resident who had not seen her family there for 10 years. She had died a couple of days later and the connection had created precious memories for her family.
Cheques were presented by Miss Wellington 2014, Amber Forward, her attendant, Heidi Oaten, and Miss Junior Wellington, Isabel Finucane Fenn.
The 3 major beneficiaries were the Multiple Sclerosis Society, chosen by Bridgwater Carnival Committee who saved Wellington’s committee approximately £3k by organising road closures and signage on Carnival day, Children’s Hospice South West, chosen by Wendy Troake and Shirley Cook who collated all the adverts for the 2014 programme which added £1k to Carnival funds, and Compass Disability Services which provides support for disabled people and carers across Somerset and are currently raising funds for a new centre.
In front of a large audience cheques were presented to, amongst others, Blackdown Communty Choir, Whirlwinds Trampoline Club, Wellington 1st Scouts, Genesis Youth Theatre, Wellington Army Cadets, the Bollywood Dancers, Somerset Red Arrows Majorettes, St John’s Ambulance and local schools. In thanking the committee for their awards, many recipients made clear the support the money provides to the work they do in the community.
Chris Prouse was presented with a trophy as 1st placed local entry in the Carnival.
In concluding the presentations Carnival Chairman Dave Rylatt summarised the growing success of the town’s events: “Three years ago we had £500 to give away. Thanks to everyone behind the scenes, we’re now up to £5,000!”
It is hoped that a film of the Carnival will be on sale at the Street Fair 2015 in June.