Letter from Surlingham Festival Committee

Surlingham Festival Committee

Open Letter to the Community

The 2016 Surlingham Festival, a community fundraising event and celebration of our village life was very well received and incredibly successful, raising £1,900. Inclusive of many village groups, it included opportunities for the interests of our active community to be exhibited and initiated the Surlingham Unsung Hero Award. The Committee ensured all fundraising was transparent so residents could see exactly what their money was achieving within the community. Groups ‘bid’ for funds raised – three groups approached us and we were very pleased to support them. Since 1996, the Festival has raised over £28,000 (£18,500 was distributed to the Church; £9,500 to the Village Hall).  

As a very small Committee, albeit with experience in organising such events, the 2016 Festival involved a huge commitment of our time and effort, particularly as sufficient volunteers to help organise and run the event were very difficult to find.   Although we were keen to organise further events we had to be certain of more support to share the workload, and also to consider whether a whole village fundraiser like this was wanted/needed anymore, in light of increased group fundraising activity in the last few years. Local residents were invited to an informal meeting on 22nd June, 2017, or to contact Committee members, to discuss the Festival and/or offer any practical help. Unfortunately no residents attended the meeting, and only one person contacted us to say that he could help out on the day.

Though we were sure residents would attend and enjoy a Festival if arranged, and people would help out on the day if asked, sadly the Committee could not commit to months of organisation on that basis. Regrettably therefore, it was not viable to organise a Festival last year. The Committee members all now have more commitments on their time and are not in a position to try to raise the support necessary to organise a Festival of the quality we would wish to provide. We have therefore dissolved the Committee. Our remaining funds, as raised for the benefit of the whole community, will be distributed as follows –

•£200 to Coldham Hall Sailing Club’s project to provide a defibrillator 

•£200 to initiate a Community Project to provide a defibrillator, to be installed at The Ferry House   

•£50 to the Friends of Surlingham Church, as a ‘seed fund’ for a future community fundraising event towards Church building repairs.

We would like to thank everyone who has helped to organise and run the event over the years and those who have supported it to provide the considerable funds from which the community has benefitted.   

Surlingham Festival Committee

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