With only 10 days left until With Syria fundraising event, as the organiser, I’m beginning to feel a little nervous.
This event, which started as nothing more than an idea on the back of an envelope has grown to become something I very much care about. It’s been my baby for the last 6 months!
Syria refugee appeal: we don’t give up
I was ever-so-politely advised a few months back, by a local Councillor, to let With Syria fundraising event go. Apparently trying to achieve a large public event on Fryern Recreation Ground in Chandler’s Ford was going to be near impossible, and most people give up before they get half way through the process!
This angered me! I felt that it was incredibly unfair that the fundraising event in aid of Syria should be considered so unachievable, when a member of the community takes it upon themselves to bring the rest of the community together for a great cause.
With a whole load of bloody mindedness and a dash of insanity I persevered, and have to admit that several members of the Parish Council and the Eastleigh Borough Council ended up showing tremendous support.
The real challenge was finding a sponsor for ‘With Syria’, of which we ultimately failed. It soon became clear that local businesses only wanted to support local causes, which is completely understandable but disappointing.
People in Chandler’s Ford DO care
I have been fortunate to have many conversations with members of our community about their feelings about the conflict in Syria. What became incredibly evident is that people DO care!
What I heard time and time again was “but where do you begin?” and “how can we help?” I soon realised that Syria’s need is not being ignored, but is met with a feeling of hopelessness.
I was pleased that on July 28th, BBC2 aired their extremely emotional and very important programme called Children of Syria. It followed six Syrian children over six months, and documented their very tough journeys, and fight for survival.
My husband has been an incredible support whilst I’ve been trying to create the community fundraiser, but he admitted that he was unclear as to what the people of Syria were going through. He was shocked at the images he saw, and we both sat on the sofa and wept when listening to the children, who talked well above their years.
They sounded, quite simply, broken.
Family fun-day: in aid of Syria
My hope for ‘With Syria’ lays in the hands of our community.
We have the opportunity to come together and have a fantastic day, whilst digging deep and raising those ever important funds for the millions of displaced families of Syria.
Highlights of the fun day
Our event is shaping up to be a great day. We have an award-winning puppeteer doing two performances of his ‘Traditional Punch and Judy Show’, and we also have the very popular local boy band ‘Three Times Over’, as well as another local band and dance group.
Our cuddly toy competition will hopefully be popular with the children as will our arts and crafts marquee, and I’m looking forward to welcoming many of our local stall sellers who will be selling a wide range of gifts and goodies.
I am thrilled that our charity, ShelterBox are attending ‘With Syria’. ShelterBox is an international disaster relief charity that delivers emergency shelter and vital aid to people affected by disaster worldwide.
Tony, from ShelterBox will be at the event all day, showing off the tents and the incredibly important boxes they distribute to all the families who need them most.
My hope for ‘With Syria’ fundraiser
I hope the day will raise a lot of money for a fabulous cause, but if not then I’ll settle on us just raising awareness, because that is incredibly important too.
It really doesn’t matter that Syria is far away, or that our community is small. People are suffering and we CAN help.
On Sunday 10th August 11:00 am – 4:00 pm at Fryern Recreation Ground in Chandler’s Ford, let’s all come together to show that we really are with Syria. Thank you all for your support. See you there.