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Children’s Festival 2023 declared a huge success

Staff and volunteers of local family charity, Purple Elephant, have declared this year’s Frome’s Children’s Festival, held on Sunday 23rd July, a resounding success.  With over 40, mainly outdoor, activities in place for this annual community celebration of childhood, organisers were eyeing the weather forecast nervously the night before!

However, on the big day the sun shone warmly and a short-lived rain shower was barely even noticed by almost three thousand people who enjoyed a day of creative, carefully selected activities.  The event opened at 10am with music from Frome Street Bandits, living out their own philosophy that music should express freedom within its communities.  Festival goers, organisers and volunteers were all thrilled as this merry band of anarchic musicians scaled the climbing frame in the park to the delight of all.

The Teen Tent housed a silent disco as just meters away Druscilla the Dragon made her very welcome appearance amongst the trees. Lively storytellers and puppeteers enchanted young and old alike and music, dance, magic and theatre shows, including a hugely popular walkabout from Little Bulb, kept everyone entertained.  With all encouraged to join in, recycled creative arts workshops were packed with local, imaginative children as face-painters and glitter tattooists decorated hundreds of eager faces.  Bike-owners were treated to BMX instruction in the park whilst circus skills, under the tutelage of Circomedia saw balancing brilliance as the tricks of the trade were shared by professionals.  And, of course, the two zip wires across the river were as popular and widely enjoyed as always.

Young people recorded their music in a professional sound-studio, designed and created badges with eco-awareness in mind and, in keeping with the festival’s Climate Awareness theme, chosen by Frome students, some made plant terrariums whilst others investigated the amazing Gusita giant turtle sculpture, a reminder of why we must all consider the choices we make to care for and protect our planet. Families, mostly from Frome and surrounding villages, had the chance to learn about how we can best honour and protect our environment, including spending time with Shared Earth Learning in the Welshmill Woods.

Since the close of the festival at 4pm on Sunday, the team have been very moved to receive many emails and social media messages of praise and thanks including from local resident and mum of a 12 year old, Tracey Rawlins, who said, “There was so much choice! We were there all day and still didn’t get to do everything. To be offered such a wide choice is wonderful because, as we all know, kids hate being bored – well, that was never going to happen at your festival.  We are local so we know of Purple Elephant’s work and we will make sure to recommend people take a look at all the work you do all year round and for very young children too, not just for those of us with pre-teens.”

Philip Campagna, the Mayor of Frome said, “The day was packed full with lots of great activities – my highlights included getting glittered up, having a juggle and visiting the fantastic turtle.  Amazing to see so many families having a wonderful time in the sunshine and such a variety of activities – Purple Elephant really are amazing, they have so many fantastic projects –and are celebrating their 10th Year next year – they are a charity to really get behind.”
Completing their ninth Children’s Festival, the Purple Elephant team are keen to get a couple of very important messages out to the town in time for the anniversary 10th festival next year.  Firstly, as founder Sue Willis tells us, “We want our heartfelt thanks to be given to the total of 50 people who volunteered and gave their time to make this event happen.  We are so proud that we have some local young people starting their volunteering journeys with us and coming back year after year.  We also have older members of our community and such fantastic help from local groups, as well as individuals.  We literally could not do it without them.  Frome is amazing.”

Sue Willis’s second message reminds people that the festival is only one event in the charity’s year-round, vital, family support work.  “This day is the celebration, but it is imperative that we keep our other services going.  Purple Elephant exists to support local families who are disadvantaged by many different issues.  We offer several crucial services in the town, which, of course, cost money to deliver so we would love the support of monthly donors and local, corporate business sponsors.  We’ve recently heard of “coffee-cash-currency” donations. A take-away coffee is at least £2.50 so if someone possibly can afford to give up one coffee a week that would be £10 a month. We can make such a difference with that 

“Over and above that, we are seeking new business sponsors who would like to join us for the journey, supporting a full 12 months of charity work, culminating in being part of our 10th anniversary festival in the summer of 2024”.

Anyone wishing to know more about Purple Elephant can get learn about this passionate team and get in touch via their website.

28 July 2023
Last Updated
1 August 2023
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