A scarecrow Zoom meeting, a ‘Reluctant DIY Man’ and a straw-filled baker were some of the lockdown-themed exhibits in Chinnor, Oxfordshire’s first-ever fundraising scarecrow trail back in October.
The trail, themed ‘Activities in Lockdown’, brought together all ages from primary school pupils to residents at a care home as villagers were given an opportunity to celebrate community, be creative and raise money for international aid and development charity Christian Aid at the same time.
The trail was the brainchild of Chinnor’s Christian Aid Group which wanted to think of an innovative and socially-distanced way to bring the local community together to help support global neighbours living in poverty in a time of the pandemic.
The group’s chair, Mavis Shortman, a member of St Mary’s Church, Thame, said:
“Chinnor is an incredibly supportive community. Typically at this time of year, we would have some kind of social event, but obviously, that couldn’t happen in 2020. We wanted to find an alternative that still brought people together and helped them feel connected but in a safe way.
“And so the Scarecrow Trail was born. What has been really exciting for us has been seeing how people right across the community have welcomed the opportunity to join in. We have strengthened links with a care home and have had lots of young families take part either by creating one or following the trail.
“The weather was pretty appalling for the two days of the trail with rain and gusty winds, but people have spoken of how much fun it was. We are thrilled because the aim was to bring a smile to people’s faces and at the same time help people living in desperate poverty across the world.
“Coronavirus has taken over a million lives and for many families, it has been devastating as they have been unable to work or access markets to sell goods.
“We have raised over £900 [on and offline] and donations are still coming in. It’s given us a real boost to see that community events and fundraising don’t have to stop, we just have to work with what we have got and keep adapting!”
A JustGiving page was set up to receive donations https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/or57851