As the government is in Brexit turmoil (‘near Civil War’, according to the BBC), we’re bringing you some stability here from Chandler’s Ford for a change.
The annual Chandler’s Ford Joint Charities Christmas Market brings the sort of stability, unity, and friendship that we all need at times of crisis. Last weekend I went to the market, as I had done so for many years, and felt warmth, joy, and a genuine sense of hope for the future.
This year the atmosphere of the market was hugely enhanced by live singing. Singer Emily Blackledge sang beautifully. Thank you Emily!
I saw the same people running around selling raffle tickets. The same groups of people were selling Christmas cards and gifts for their charities.
In my mind, the Joint Charities Christmas Market signals the start of Christmas in Chandler’s Ford.
As before, the market was opened by a past mayor. Jane Welsh opened the 45th Christmas Market this year.
The participating charities are:
- Bloodwise: Beating blood cancer
- British Heart Foundation: We fight for every heartbeat
- Cystic Fibrosis Trust: Fighting for a life unlimited
- Eastleigh Borough and Romsey Mencap Society: Protect and enhance the life chances of children and adults with learning disabilities
- Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST): Changing lives. We take both able-bodied and disabled people to sea.
- Metabolic Support UK (formerly Climb): leading patient organisation for Inherited Metabolic Disorders supporting thousands of patients worldwide.
- Muscular Dystrophy UK: Fighting muscle-wasting conditions
- Myaware: Fighting Myasthenia together
- Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB): Supporting people with sight loss
- Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI): Saving lives at sea
- Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (The RSPB): Giving nature a home
This year, there were new groups too. A hardworking young Scout was fundraising for the 24th World Scout Jamboree. BrendonCare, known for its care for older people, was also there promoting their services.