One of the great things about the Kendal Torchlight Gruffalo is that he is totally waterproof! Perfect for the kind of typical summers day a group of Torchlight volunteers spent with him at Asda in Kendal at the end of July. I’m pleased to say that neither the Gruffalo, the Torchlight team, nor the Asda customers and Community colleagues seem to be deterred by the occasional showers either!
Whilst this was a great opportunity to hold a bucket and receive donations for the 50th year of Torchlight, what really stood out from the day was the fantastic response from everyone we spoke to. Everybody has genuine warmth for what has now become an institution in Kendal and the South Lakes, so it was great to hear memories of how people remembered Torchlight Processions from their earlier years, or when they took their children to see it for the 1st time.
Another couple of reasons for spending the day talking to Kendalians were to promote the revised date for the Torchlight Procession and Street Market (Friday 27th and Saturday 28th), and all the free Workshops running at various locations through the summer.
It was good to hear that about 50% of the people we talked to were aware of the new date, but were more than happy with the explanation as to why we were making this change from tradition, particularly if they had children at a local school. The extra 2 weeks at the start of the busy new school and college term in September will give the schools more time to prepare their float, and will allow us to work with Kendal College – now one of our key supporters – and involve students in the Arts, Music and …… Departments for the 1st time.
Parents and their children were also delighted to pick up a leaflet detailing the numerous Workshop dates; arts and craft activities – run by professional youth leaders – during the long holiday are great opportunities to give children some stimulating, creative fun, and help dispel the common complaint, “I’m bored!”
So a really enjoyable and productive day all round; and we raised £170. This will pay for xxx children to attend one of the workshops!
People were happy to give (generously!) especially as they understood that Kendal Torchlight receives relatively little funding – particularly when compared to other local events and festivals – and relies heavily on local donations from individuals, businesses and unpaid volunteers to make sure this wonderful family and community event runs every year.
A big thankyou to Asda Colleagues, and hope that everyone has a fantastic Kendal Torchlight Carnival.