In October 2008, during one afternoon at Peasedown Youth Centre, the first ever Party in the Park meeting was held, and now 11 years later, the team has brought almost £100,000 to the village.
Those present at the first meeting included representatives from groups that had hosted events before and a collection of brand-new people who wanted to get ‘stuck in’.
From the early beginnings of pulling together ideas on a large sheet of flip-chart paper, Peasedown Party in the Park was born.
The first event, pitched as a grand family fun day, was opened in 2009 by Glastonbury Festival founder Michael Eavis and held in the new location of Beacon Field.
Now, eleven years on, Peasedown’s Party in the Park festival has become one of the most popular in the district, with over 2,500 visitors and more than £7,000 being secured each year to fund the event.
Last week, the festival committee held their Annual General Meeting where the total amount raised from 11 years of events through sponsorship, stallholder fees and entrance gate donations, was revealed.
Treasurer, Joy Fraser said: “When I added it all up, I was surprised at how much money has been raised over the last decade.
“Much of the money has been re-invested into Party in the Park each year but some has also gone to help projects in the village and it is good to be able to do that.”
When all the figures had been calculated, the team revealed that a massive £93,585.59 has been raised.
Almost £15,000 has been given back to the community through grants.
As well as events, the team run a volunteer scheme which gives those that take part the chance to receive a reference for education or employment; a Grant Fund which supports Peasedown-based projects; a community award in memory of the late Sara Holley; and they have launched their own exclusive cider – Peasedown Diamond.
Festival Chairman Nathan Hartley believes none of these could have been achieved without the support of faithful volunteers who give up their time each year.
He said: “My thanks go to the team over the past year, who have brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise and passion to the roles they’ve performed; Joy Fraser, Karen Walker, Max Feeney, Craig Gill, Helen Thorn, Andrea Feeney and Andy Day.
“We couldn’t do what we do though without the 30-40 people who commit time and energy at the festival to give out programmes, collect litter and help set up and pack away at the end of the day.”
The Party in the Park volunteer scheme, Be Part of It, gives volunteers the chance to sign up and in return receive a certificate, and food vouchers to use on the day of the festival.
Organisers have now set a date for the 12th Annual Party in the Park next year. It will take place on Saturday 13th June, 12 noon – 7 pm.