Ah the Gainsborough Community Fun Day, an event which was supposed to be plain sailing and fun for all. We had a budget, a date, willing volunteers and summer sun like I have never seen in my lifetime. What could possibly go wrong?
My task was to arrange a Tea Dance. Though I have never arranged a tea dance before, I was full of ideas and enthusiasm so I was confident it would all be fine. I have fantastic friends who loaned or donated china to go with some items I had purchased myself. I even roped in a friend to spend her evening making centerpieces with me so the dance can be truly special. Ipswich School of Dancing agreed to help out and offered great advice along the way. The small planning team kept in touch on a regular basis and at the center of it was one superwoman I could only dream to be like. This was all set to be an amazing event…in theory.
Well as you know the date was changed by the council, and then the volunteers reduced, and then once we thought we were in the clear the sun went away. On the morning of the event, high winds and heavy rain greeted the few remaining volunteers and on a personal level I felt a build up of tears forming. As I arrived at the scout hut, refusing to be defeated by the last remaining hurdle by the gods, superwoman, formally known as Mandy was already there with a plan of action. She clearly hadn’t slept and was only functioning because her focus was getting through this fun day. There will be no cancellation, no children in the community let down, the fun day will happen and it happened purely because of her. We decided to use the scout hut and a local church and put everything indoors. It worked a treat and all the stall holders who came seemed impressed by the plan.
The tea dance went ahead with great success and the area was then used for 2 amazing performers, one of which was impressed by the acoustics of the scout hut. I managed to take a moment between the tea making and co-ordinating to look around and take it all in. There were kids (and some adults) with their faces painted making bug boxes with Councillor Harsant and the Friends of Hollywells Park. Ipswich Museum engaging with young future historians and a local hedgehog group educating locals about how to look after their environment. We also had Councillors playing bubble football during a small break in the rain, and residents enjoying tea, cakes and a spot of dancing. It was a real mix and that was only in the scout hut.
We estimated approx 200 people attended the day in spite of the weather and last minute changes to the date. The hard work and stress was worth it and in a flash it was over and people were asking us when the next event will be…we were at the time too exhausted to comprehend organising anything else, but now the dust has settled I am more than willing to help out at a community event again…which by the looks of it will be the fun palaces on the 6th and 7th October 2018.