Despite appalling weather and considerable competition from other local fund-raising events last Saturday (1 December), the sterling efforts of volunteers and supporters at Bembridge Community Library at the Christmas Fayre and Coffee morning helped to raise more than £800, broadly equalling the amount collected two years ago.
Hon Treasurer Chris Thornton said that the income from the annual Christmas Draw amounted to just under £700, and that with the money made from the bric-a-brac stall, Name the Teddy, as well as the sale of cakes, teas and coffees, overall takings were more than £800.
Said Chris: “This was a fantastic result in spite of the dreadful weather and vigorous competition. Well done all who helped or supported in any way.”
Liz Mitchell, chief fundraiser, thanked all the volunteers who contributed to the successful event. “They all did a great job.”
Chairman of the BCL Committee Jonathan Bacon later commented: “Wow! That’s brilliant.
The record number of prizes was headed by £100 worth of shopping vouchers for use in the village kindly supplied by the Bembridge Business Association.
Visitors were able to get into the spirit by joining in the festivities, and enjoying hot drinks and homemade cakes.
Entertainment was once again provided by The Bembridge Recorder Consort as visitors were able to find last minute bargains at the bric a brac and craft stalls including the latest colourful creations from the Bembridge Library Stitchers.
Library users also took the opportunity to choose gifts as well as holiday reading from an extensive selection of nearly new books and jigsaws sold at bargain basement prices.
Draw promoter Richard Beet said that the library had been extremely grateful for the support of local businesses and individual supporters.
“We were able to offer an impressive array of more than 40 high-value prizes, many of which were kindly donated by local supermarkets, shops, restaurants, pubs and estate agents,” said Richard.
“Once again Bembridge Business Association generously supported the annual event, offering £100 worth of Bembridge Shopping Vouchers as part of the extensive prize list.”
The library, which was saved from closure seven years ago by a small group of Bembridge people, has continued to thrive thanks to the dedication and commitment of its entirely volunteer work force and the support of Community Action Isle of Wight. It is now entering the final stage of its transition to an independent charity responsible for the full repairing lease.
Bembridge Community Library has now grown into a self-supporting successful community information hub, incorporating a versatile facility for meetings and events, and offers a free public internet resource, providing the village’s Tourist Information Point as well as sharing the building with Bembridge Heritage Museum with which it works closely.
Bembridge Community Library is open four days a week, all day on Monday and Friday as well as Wednesday and Saturday mornings.