Storrington & Sullington Community Partnership have once again spent months planning this event, with representatives from Rotary.
Impulse Leisure staff at the Chanctonbury Centre in Spierbridge Road were very helpful in assisting with the preparation of the main hall the night before. Four Trustees plus Rotary stalwart Ken Collins had transported tables from the Village Hall to complete the floor plan on the evening of Friday 11th, then returned to the Centre once more for the big day on Saturday 12th May.
With all the Planning team in their positions, the exhibitors began arriving as requested from 9.00am, some walking with heavy bags, others with very full transport.
We recruited 33 groups to exhibit with vary varied stands, some very colouful displays, including the latest pull-up banners and feather flags, and many with lap-tops to display activity sequences.
Splash! Schools had a separate table for children to draw, while Community Speedwatch were supported by a uniformed Police staff officer. The Community Partnership were displaying a rolling image of the Village website – www.Storrington.org.uk.
The hall was abuzz all the time, with the sound of many happy voices, while children played on the soft play area at the other end of the hall.
The refreshments, available from the café of the Leisure Centre, were most welcome, while the Centre’s car park was very full all day.
Nick Herbert, Member of Parliament for Arundel & the South Downs, was invited to meet all the exhibitors, and showed great interest in both the variety of activities, and the commitment of all the volunteers.
Local Horsham District Councillors Jim Sanson, County Councillor Paul Marshall and Parish Councillor Mark Lewis also spent time touring round all the stands.
Judy Palmer, the Partnership’s “meeter and greeter” for the day, did sterling work on the door, and by 2.00pm had recorded 105 members of the public visiting. The networking between exhibitors was also a great success – Storrington First School found new classroom volunteers for their children, Auntie Val’s Ability Centre found a new financial Director, and Speedwatch recruited 2 new operators.
Both Horsham District Council and West Sussex County Council, together with the South Downs National Park, all found many opportunities to network with other exhibitors, to strengthen their links with the local community.
The show finally closed on time at 2.00pm, and the Community Partnership, working together with the Rotary Club, wishes to thank all those who gave their time and skills to make this day a success, and to West Sussex County Council for granting funds to support it. Local estate agents also made a major contribution to its promotion.
All those present also agreed the day was a very constructive exercise. A full evaluation of the feedback given by visitors and exhibitors will help the Community Partnership decide on whether this becomes a regular feature.