For those of us who like to make an early start to Christmas shopping, the Craft Fair at Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm offered an ideal opportunity to stock up on jewellery, cards, toys, glass, cosmetics, clothing and gifts of every kind – and have a cuppa and a cake at the same time. Warm weather and golden autumn sunshine helped to bring out the crowds, and they found plenty to tempt them on the 34 stalls around the barns and farmyard. Young children even had a friendly sheep to stroke.
The Craft Fair was organised by the Wellington Friends’ Group which raises funds for Children’s Hospice South West. Friends’ groups in the region raise over £130,000 per year from events such as this, all of which goes to the hospice.
Organiser Wendy Pollard, the Chair of the Wellington Friends’ Group said, ‘We organise 4 or 5 events per year but this Craft Fair is by far the biggest so far. It took months to organise and we are indebted to Mr and Mrs Hardy of Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm who have allowed us to hold this event on their land and to Summerfield Homes who have sponsored our advertising. We are so grateful too to all these stallholders who are supporting this event. They make profits from the sale of their crafts but we benefit from the rental of the stalls.’
Paula Hullett, Community Fundraiser for Children’s Hospice South West, added, ‘Events such as these do more than raise money directly; they raise people’s awareness of the hospices and attract individual donations. They also provide a great day out for all the family – there is something here for everyone – as well as fostering strong relationships between us and the local community which are so important to us. And these stalls offer such fantastic value for money!’
Good causes further afield benefit too. Patricia Fuller was selling fabric bags and bright Christmas tree cushion covers made under the auspices of the Tsunami Widows Project in Sri Lanka which has helped victims of the 2005 tsunami to restart their lives. ‘Prem’s Village Fund’ sponsors Dewindi Products, the makers of the textiles. Prem herself is known locally from her time studying at SCAT and working at Musgrove Park Hospital before she returned to Sri Lanka to help in its recovery.
Children’s Hospice South West is holding a further Food and Craft fair at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, on Wednesday October 24 from 10am to 5pm. Over 40 stalls will be selling a huge range of items including children’s dressing-up clothes, wines and Christmas puddings. Even if the sun fails to shine as brightly as it did for the Wellington event it is hoped that the event will raise more money for a cause which, in the CHSW’s own words, ‘aims to make the most of short and precious lives across the South West’.