Thank you so much to everyone who helped make our last market such a lovely Christmassy event. So many people have said to me what a great atmosphere there was on the day, and the bustle and noisy chatter in the hall certainly seemed to signal that folks were enjoying themselves. The hall was decorated beautifully (thanks, Kim!) and, for the first time, we had festive music throughout, via the newly installed sound system.
It was, of course, a bittersweet occasion, not only because it would be the last time The Pantry would happen in this form (though it would be great if others in the village took up the challenge to do something similar at some point), but also because we were remembering those who weren’t able to be there with us this time.
Those absent friends have given great help and support to The Pantry over the years, and I hope this last event has been fitting thanks. We’ve done the sums now, and can report that the Christmas Market this year made a profit of around £600. This means that, over the past seven years, The Pantry has in total raised around £13,000. We have already donated or committed much of this money to various village projects (major works in the village hall and the church, Apple Day, the Fitness Trail, a defibrillator, etc.), but after the funds committed are accounted for, there will be a balance of around £4000. This will be used to fund future village projects and initiatives as they arise. The Pantry team are happy for villagers to contact any one of us to request a donation towards such a project. We intend to formalise our criteria as to what would make something suitable for a Pantry donation, but our main stipulation is that it must benefit the villagers of Piddington.
The Pantry team are proud of what we’ve achieved, but we wouldn’t have been able to do any of it without the unstinting help of friends, partners, cheerful volunteers from Piddington (and beyond), the brilliant stallholders – some of whom have been with us since the start – and, of course, all the people who turn up to support the markets, buying from local people and so channelling money back into the local community, at the same time as having a chat with friends and neighbours and enjoying something delicious from the Coffee Shop. Thank you, everyone, it’s been a wonderful experience!