More than 2,000 villagers went along to Peasedown St John’s 8th Party in the Park Community Festival last Saturday to celebrate HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday.
Sponsored by Michael Gould Property Agents, St John’s Church, Care South, Bath Audi, G&S Steeplejacks, Curo Housing and Peasedown St John Parish Council, the rain didn’t stop the crowds enjoying seven hours of live music and entertainment.
The event, opened by the Chairman of B&NES Council, Cllr Alan Hale, included a huge array of stalls and attractions, the village’s second Great Village Bake Off, the return of the Peasedown Diamond cider, and the results of the Party in the Park Grant Giveaway.
The Sara Holley Community Award, set up in 2011 in memory of a life-long resident who passed away, was won by a woman who has spent the last 10 years either partaking in, or setting up projects that benefit the vulnerable and poorer members of society.
Joy Fraser, a former churchwarden at St John’s Church, coordinated the establishment of the Somer Valley Foodbank in 2013 to support those on low incomes, those out of work, and those who have been subject to changes and delays in the benefits system.
More than 2,500 people have been fed across the Somer Valley – over 300 of those live in Peasedown St John.
Party in the Park chairman, Nathan Hartley, said: “I first had the privilege of meeting Joy eight years ago at Peasedown Youth Centre.
“I was a local councillor at the time and she had just signed up to become a weekly volunteer. What particularly struck me about her was how humble, kind and genuine she was.
“As well as volunteering at the youth centre she’s been an active member of St John’s Church where she served as Church Warden for 6 years. She worked along Revd Matthew Street to transform the way the church works within the community.
“As with any great and empowered community activist, you’ll find their activism has no borders.”
Thanks to Joy, two life-changing projects have been set up throughout Bath and North East Somerset that have made a direct impact, positively, on the lives of local people.
The first is Family Matters – which works with the council to support those on low incomes, the vulnerable, and those with low self esteem – helping them into work.
The other is the Somer Valley Foodbank. Joy’s dedication and enthusiastic leadership has seen a Distribution Centre set up in Peasedown, and she arranged for agencies within the village to give food vouchers to those in need.
The person who nominated her said: ‘I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Sara Holley Community Award this year. Joy is dedicated, sincere, humble, selfless and never wants any credit or reward for the work she does.’”
Almost £3,000 was raised on the day, which contributes to the total £6,000 cost of hosting the one-day event.
All of the money will be reinvested back into Peasedown St John either through future events or the Party in the Park Grant Fund.
Festival revellers were kept entertained all afternoon thanks to back-to-back outstanding performances, all of which were sponsored by Peasedown St John Parish Council, from PJ Pete Bailey, the Bath Spa Band, Pheonix Club, Susan Hill School of Dance, Train to Skaville, Bath All Star Cheerleaders, The Blues Others and Step Eadez Dance.
To add extra excitement to the proceedings, this year’s Special Guest Host was Pete Helmore from Somer Valley FM, with the radio station being the festival’s official partner.
Almost £1,500 was given away this year to organisations that are either based in, or work in, Peasedown St John. Peasedown St John Methodist Church, Bath All Starz, Chess for Schools, and the Great Western Air Ambulance were all presented grants.
Peasedown St John’s Party in the Park festival was held on Saturday 11th June on Beacon Field, from 12 noon am – 7 pm.
Thanks to the support of The Midsomer Norton Lions Club, Paulton Army Cadets and Party in the Park volunteers over 60 hours of time were given to staff the festival gates, and ensured the event ran according to plan, and to schedule.
For more details, and to see photos from the festival, visit www.peasedownpartyinthepark.org.uk.