You may struggle to find another link between them, but at Fryern Funtasia 2013, both organisations brought a lot of joy to many of us.
Chandler’s Ford Methodist Church
First, the Methodist Church was running a fantastic plant stall, next to the most essential catering service, with home-made sandwiches and cakes, and a variety of hot and cold drinks. Thankfully, they have a lot of helpers and the catering service was efficient. They have basically brought the spirit of The Coffee Room to the Fryern Recreation Ground.
Second, the brilliant Chandler’s Ford Boys’ Brigade Brass Band was such a joy. It’s lovely to see the conductor Simon Farrenden again. Simon has a diverse team, from the young ones to the more mature ones.
When I looked closer, I noticed two familiar faces:
Rev. Peter Cornick from the Methodist Church was also in the band. Do you know the name of the musical instrument that he played? I didn’t. Luckily, John, a knowledgeable friend standing next to me, told me that the instrument played by Peter is called an euphonium. Behind Peter is Captain Brian Burnage, who was playing the cornet.
Ahmad Tea was extremely generous yesterday.
Normally, you would expect one or two little sachets of teabags from a tea manufacturer, but Ahmad Tea gave away tea gifts and caddies, boxes of tea, including the Royal Wedding silver caddy.
You normally see these exquisite tea gifts and caddies in gift shops at Heathrow Airport or some fancy gift shops. Ahmad Tea are normally not sold in supermarkets.
Alex Keown-Boyd, the assistant GM from Ahmad Tea, was there handing out tea gifts. He even urged people to take more. “Help yourself, take more!” I couldn’t resist some of the tin designs, so I helped myself with a few of the mini tins. With the generous gifts, I gather I don’t have to shop for tea for about 3 months.
Ahmad Tea also used this opportunity to showcase their charity work.
Its charity enterprises include an 800-person maternity hospital in Iran, a cancer hospital currently under construction in Sri Lanka, and a school and water project in Mali. The current emphasis is on a water project in Niger.
Alex told me that the charity work started in the Ukraine when Dr Ebraham Afshar, director of Ahmad Tea, visited an orphanage and found shocking conditions. Amongst the first thing he noticed was that the children had to share one pair of shoes between three of them.
Mr Afshar gradually helped build a chain of 60 orphanages in the Ukraine and Russia. Read more of their charity work here.