At the end of October this year, part of the Hillbrush site in Mere played host to a wonderful 4-day charity event in aid of the Wiltshire Air Ambulance and The Bobby Van Trust.
If you haven’t already heard of them here’s a quick look at what these amazing charities do for us.
The Wiltshire Air Ambulance receives 999 calls on a daily basis and can scramble to anywhere in Wiltshire in their Bell 429 iconic yellow and green helicopter within 11 minutes! The helicopter can fly at a top speed of 178mph, carries the same equipment as ground ambulances, plus the pilot, 2 paramedics a patient and a passenger. Wilts Air Ambulance are funded almost entirely by public donations and need £3.25 million a year to keep flying and saving lives. Find out more about them on their website, wiltshireairambulance.co.uk.
The Bobby Van Trust is a smaller, local charitable trust that operates in partnership with Wiltshire Police to provide a home security service for older and vulnerable people throughout Wiltshire and Swindon. They improve the security of domestic properties to prevent burglary, hate crime and abuse, promote awareness of fire safety, offer reassurance and advice on crime reduction and also provide practical skills to help prevent online fraud, among other things. The charity funds the operation of 3 vans that provide mobile workshops for the operators. Find out more on their website, wiltshirebobbyvan.org.uk.
The evening event consisted of Bollywood themed dancing, eating and fancy dress, the results of the previously launched online auction and the raffle to win a KIA Picanto, that had been provided at cost to the event by F.J.Chalke in Mere. The second part of the event was a 3-day spread of gift stalls and second-hand, nearly new designer clothes rails.
The whole event was a resounding success! The Bollywood Rock Party tickets were sold out in a matter of weeks, the 3,500 raffle tickets for the KIA Picanto were sold to thousands of people raising awareness and money for the event, and the promotion for the Bag a Bargain clothes sale event went far and wide through posters, social media and word-of-mouth.
Hillbrush were very proud to sponsor the event and provide the space for the marquee for the evening and 3-day sale, also offering free and plentiful parking to those wishing to visit and take part. Visit Hillbrush also played its part offering a discount to any paying guests and stallholders of the clothes sale on all 3 days.
Many Hillbrush staff were involved, either by visiting the sale and buying something ‘new’, or by helping with parking, operations and the printing and advertising of the entire event.
The organising Committee are proud to announce that they raised a total of £37,000 to go to the two chosen charities! (£20k to Wilts Air Ambulance and £17k to The Bobby Van Trust). Did you know that the £20k raised and donated to the Air Ambulance funds 5 flights for the helicopter? It doesn’t seem like many, but that is potentially 5 lives saved.
The Bollywood Rock Party evening event raised £3,500, the car raffle raised £9,600, the online auction raised £6,700 and the iconic nearly new designer clothes sale raised a whopping £17,200!
Many other local companies also got involved with the event, providing food and drink, the marquee itself, lighting, groundwork, temporary toilets and much more. So many local companies, and others further afield also paid for an advert for themselves, from which the money also went towards the grand total.
Any leftover clothes from the Bag a Bargain sale were donated to Save the Children (Shaftesbury) and St Margaret’s Hospice (Wincanton), hopefully going on to raise more money for some other very worthwhile charities.
All of us at Hillbrush would like to congratulate The Committee for organising, hosting and pulling off such a wonderful event, and for raising so much money for such incredible charities. We’re glad to have been a part of it and look forward to whatever is planned next!