Wootton – have all the answers when it comes to fundraising.

VILLAGERS in the small rural hamlet of Wootton have raised more than £1,500 for Mayfield and Ellastone Community First Responders.

For the past three years, Wootton Parish Council has created a calendar and distributed it free of charge to all the villagers.  But last year, councillors decided to do something different, in a bid to support the first responder group that is often first on scene when villagers suffer a medical emergency.  Jacqui Kinch said: “We opted for a photo competition, a bit like the one Countryfile does for its calendar every year.  “So we invited residents to submit photographs for different months of the year and then we had a day of viewing and anonymous voting. At the end of the day we announced the winners for each month and for the front cover. “And we were lucky enough to have two villagers, Sara Longley and Mark Lockley, who kindly offered to do all the design and printing work for free, which meant we could sell the calendars at a reasonable price and all of the proceeds could be donated to Mayfield and Ellastone First Responders.”

 The parish council also approached local businesses for advertising within the calendar, to increase the amount of money they could give. Jacqui said: “We are really grateful to all the companies who took part, which meant we could raise more than £1,000 from calendar sales alone.” Added to the fund-raising pot were the proceeds from the village Christmas quiz, which was created by Tim Dalton, and the annual Christmas Eve carol singing, which took place outside the Reading Room. Jacqui said: “It was a lovely evening, all the village children sang Away in a Manager, we had a little residents’ band, and the Women of Wootton (WOW) put on a Wootton version of Jingle Bells. “All that was accompanied by mulled wine and mince pies and we held a collection which raised another £155.”

 A cheque for £1.118, just part of the money raised, was presented to David Holt, president of the first responder group, at a village quiz night on April 18. Once again villager Tim Dalton put together the questions, and a pie and pea supper was served. Jacqui said: “We had a raffle too, with lots of great prizes. We all had a great time raised another £380 for the responders on the night. “So considering we are a village of only 47 houses, we didn’t do too badly with our fund-raising.” Mayfield and Ellastone Community First Responders president, David Holt was at the quiz night to pick up the cheque. He thanked everyone for their help and support and said the group was extremely grateful to them all. He said: “What a great bunch of people you are in Wootton. The social evening was superb, excellently organised and magnificently supported. “We are enormously grateful for the year after year financial help you and your neighbours raise for us. “We could not keep going without the enthusiastic support from the community that we’ve always been given over the past 13 years.”

 The group is currently recruiting for new responders and anyone wanting to find out more should visit www.mayfieldellastonecfr.co.uk or call 07557 980669.

  Photo: Jacqui Kinch and Tim Dalton Wootton, fundraisers for Mayfield and Ellastone

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