3 July 2020

A Hampshire charity’s pioneering virtual summer fete surpassed all expectations and raised £2,800.

In what is believed to be a first for the New Forest, Minstead Trust moved its popular annual fete online on 26 June after the normal event was cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions.

The Trust supports people with learning disabilities and its annual fete is a key part of its fundraising each year as well as a chance for its supporters to gather and socialise.

More than £1,000 of raffle tickets were sold in advance and hundreds of balloons were sold for a virtual three day race as the charity’s supporters rallied round.

On the day highlights were video streamed on Minstead Trust’s Facebook page and included:

  • Goat racing across jumps in the fields of Minstead Lodge.
  • A staff member in the stocks getting a soaking from sponges
  • The judging of the entries in the Great Fete Bake, vegetables and cutest pet competitions.

Funds raised from the virtual fete will help Minstead Trust to continue supporting people with learning disabilities through these very difficult months, where people continue to experience restrictions on going out, due to their vulnerability. The Trust also runs Furzey Gardens in Minstead and Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton, offering work experience for people with learning disabilities to work towards employment.

Dawn Wood, Minstead Trust Director of Development, said:  ‘When we realized that we wouldn’t be able to hold our traditional fete this year, everyone was really disappointed, until the team came up with the idea of a virtual fete.

‘We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but having lined up some great activities and competitions, the response exceeded our expectations. We are so grateful to everyone who got involved and donated online.’

The virtual fete was kindly supported by Day Associates Ltd. Ann Day, Managing Director and Finance Director of Day Associates (New Forest) Ltd said: “We at Day Associates are proud to be able work with such a great charity. The virtual fete was very innovative and will help fund some of the great things they do.”

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