Last August the parish council in our village came to me about putting together a committee to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday.
I didn’t have time then as I was getting married in September, so I left them to organise it and said I would help out if they needed me later on.
In December I started asking about it again and they told me a committee hadn’t been formed because only three people had turned up to a meeting. I headed to the pub on a Friday night and spoke to everyone I know to rally the troops. We got 40 people interested in total and started planning.
That event will be used as a fundraiser to raise £10,000 for a two-day party on June 11 and 12, which is the UK’s official celebration
We’re organising three events. The first is on April 21, where there’ll be a national beacon lighting to mark the Queen’s birthday. We’re having an event for the kids where they’ll dress up as kings and queens and we’ll have a barbecue and light the beacon on top of Meon Hill.
That event will be used as a fundraiser to raise £10,000 for a two-day party on June 11 and 12, which is the UK’s official celebration. On the Saturday we’re planning to put on a mini festival and get three different local bands playing music through the day. We’ll have some chilled acoustic music mid-afternoon and a ska band in the evening.
We’ll have a massive inflatable assault course with different sections for kids, teens and adults and there’ll be a traditional hog roast and locally-produced artisan food and drink. On the Sunday we’re looking at putting on a street party where we’ll provide tea and cake.
The money will go towards putting on a mini festival every year. We have to raise £5,000 before this event so we’re running some smaller fundraisers. My family is going to make a curry at home and serve it in one of the local pubs. We’ve done it before and it made an absolute bomb. I don’t look at getting involved with these events from a sales perspective.
Investing time and organising it – that’s what really needs to be done. Anyone can chuck £500 at someone, that’s the easy bit, making things happen in your local area – that’s the challenge.