When we heard of the desperate plight of the thousands of Syrian refugees last summer, we just had to do something. Some of us wished we could be there, to offer what we could to those families that had had their lives turned upside down and one of our beautiful mums Mary Beattie actually did just that; crossing the channel with her two month old baby in tow to offer hands on assistance! With that we were inspired, to do what we could here in Nailsworth.
We had already planned an apple related event in the calendar and we were now unanimous, we would devote this effort to fundraise for the refugees. With overwhelming support from both playcircle parents and local people our pip of an idea blossomed.
The event grew around the tale of an apple that had dreams of being a twinkling star..…. with this simple story coming to life through Chloe, Wendy and Mel’s classic combination of inspiring props, soulful story telling and beautiful songs; needless to say the children were captivated. Overlooking the hall there grew a glittering wishing tree, where children and adults were invited to hang goodwill messages attached to apple/star decorations. I had the pleasure of helping with this and as such enjoyed some wonderful moments with the children, mostly they were too young to understand but they thoroughly enjoyed hiding their star under a tangle of wool. The older children with more of a grasp wrote some pretty poignant words, with one sticking in my mind and at the time making me gulp.
“I hope you find a home for Christmas”.
From my autumnal den on the stage I had an awesome view of the varied goings on. Cake and coffee was in high demand and doing a roaring trade, craft stalls sold lovely items, a raffle added some excitement and bric-a-brac provided some unlikely finds. At one point I also had the privilege of listening in on a vocal harmony moment led by the super talented Mel.
Downstairs there was yet more apple related madness! You guessed it, apple themed painting and crafts, an apple shoot, apple bobbing and pressing and even a human fruit machine! All in all it was a wonderfully inspiring day, (if a little bonkers at times) and we’re thrilled to say was an outright success. We raised just over £1000 for Doctors of the World, who do incredible work providing urgent medical help in crisis situations and play a vital role in Calais.
We were all moved nearly to tears when Rachel had finished counting the money, but mainly there was excited squealing and group hugs when she announced what a triumph the day had been. I had seen the power that resides in local community and was truly heartened by all the amazing people who gave their time and effort to help us put on the event. On a wider level I felt a part of the collective effort to help the victims of global tragedies, knowing it is possible to make a difference, however small.
Our sincerest thanks goes out to everyone involved.