This year is the 25th anniversary of the Essex Branch of the British Red Cross Autumn Gift Fair. It is a key event in helping to raise money to support people in crisis in Essex, and further afield. Here’s everything you need to know about it.
Save the Date!
Wednesday, 10th October 2018 is a date to put in your diary if you are in the Essex/Hertfordshire area. For this is the date when the Essex branch of the British Red Cross holds its annual Autumn Gift Fair. For over 25 years, the Red Cross has gathered together 50 independent retailers to create a unique and welcoming shopping environment.
Fabulous Parklands setting
The glorious Parklands, Quendon Hall is the setting for this shopping extravaganza. This luxurious mansion boasts beautiful manicured grounds with deer roaming the landscape. Keep your eyes open when you have your lunch in the dining room – you may just see a few!
As well as taking advantage of the sumptuous reception rooms, the gift fair also extends to the venue’s fabulous marquee, which is often the location for weddings and corporate events.
So what can you expect?
Over the last 25 years, the event’s organisers have bought together a collection of unique, independent retailers that are not usually found on the high street. Every year there are new stalls to see, but it is also an opportunity to revisit some of the more regular stallholders that people come for miles around each year to see again and support.
Lady Prue Salt and her daughters are well-known for the most delicious cakes which sell out early on! Another regular and popular attendee is Hotfooted, selling ladies leather shoes, boots and handbags. Artichoke never fails to deliver on this season’s must-have clothes and Seres Gifts is always excited to share the latest in silver, silk and leather gifts and accessories.
Offering everything from pies and cheese to children’s gifts and Christmas cards, there is something for everyone!
How is the money raised?
Each stallholder pays a fee to exhibit at the fair and a further 10% of all takings are donated to the British Red Cross. Entrance costs £5 and this includes free coffee or tea and biscuits. Further money is raised with the sale of delicious lunches.
There is a raffle and tombola which also help to boost funds, as well as the ever-popular British Red Cross Cake Stand!
Over the last 25 years, the event has raised over £220,000, helping the British Red Cross provide support to people in Essex, across the UK and overseas.
How can you help?
Put the date in your diary and spread the word! Bring a group of friends. Enjoy a lunch. Start your Christmas shopping! This wonderful event is only a success if it is well supported. You will get a genuinely warm welcome from British Red Cross volunteers and stallholders alike!
The British Red Cross holds many events throughout the year and in lots of different locations. To find out what is going on in an area near you, visit the British Red Cross website. You can also follow them on Facebook on on Twitter @redcrossessex. Much of the work is undertaken by volunteers, so do get in touch with them if you would like to join their team.
So, make the 10th October 2018 a date for your diary!