EVEN though there have been many disappointments with the effects of lockdown and social distancing measures on our events, such as our much loved and biggest event, Theatre in the Park, not being able to go forward, as usual, there have also been many positives that have come from this time.
We have been reflecting on all our successes over this time and the great support our local community have given us, especially over the summer months. These are our top 5 moments:
- One of our biggest summer successes has been the opening of our online shop. With our charity shops being closed for a large part of the summer our online shop became a great platform for us to sell lots of cards, tea towels and pictures. However, our biggest success on our online shop was our face masks, which were lovingly made by a group of local women who donated the masks to us, and we sold for a donation of the public’s choice. The generosity of the public was astounding, and we hope everyone has loved their facemasks. We currently have a bear adoption running on our shop, as well as a Christmas Book Advent Calendar, so check it all out by visiting https://www.strodepark.org.uk/shop/.
- For the first year ever, we opened our Stride and Ride event to the public and it was a great success. Stride and Ride for the past 20 years has traditionally been a walk from Whitstable to Herne Bay by our residents and staff. We had to mix up how we did Stride and Ride for our residents as they are still shielding, but we thought it would be a great way to interact with the public and get them involved this summer as well. Not only did we still get to see our residents put on some great costumes and raise money from their gardens, but we also saw some great fitness feats from the public and raised over £1500!
- Footprints garden was a massive success at the end of our summer. Being able to bring together a group of volunteers (socially distanced of course) and transform a tired and dark garden into a vibrant and exciting one has been a great motivation for both our staff and volunteers, as well as providing the children with a fantastic space to explore. We cannot wait to see the garden prosper and transform over the next year as the plants spread out and grow.
- Our Virtual Dog Show was another lockdown event and we could not have been happier with the response. We got to look through lots of adorable pictures of our supporter’s pups and the number of people who interacted with the event was amazing to see and was a great lift in such uncertain times.
- Last but not least one of our best successes has been our iPad and tablet appeal, which has allowed our residents to stay connected to the outside world throughout the summer and continues to be a great way for them to connect to their loved ones whilst they still isolate. Through the public’s kind donations, we have been able to make lockdown that little bit easier and less isolating for our residents.
So there have been a lot of hurdles throughout this summer, but also a lot of highs, we will be grateful to get back to our events as soon as possible though, so keep an eye out for some autumn and Christmas events that will be announced soon by following us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/strodeparkfoundation or visiting www.strodepark.org.uk/events