Village fun day is a huge success
PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 October 2011
IT may not be a village in the true sense of the word, but people living in the Handside area of WGC feel the community is just as close.
And to mark this, the first Handside Village Fun Day was held recently.
It was the brainchild of store chain boss Craig Farrington – and raised more than £2,000 for the nearby Lakeside School.
In the absence of a village green, Handside ‘villagers’ gathered on the wide footway area outside the Costcutter store at the junction of Handside Lane and Marsden Road, enjoying free burgers, sausages and hot dogs, all provided by the store.
Mr Farrington, Costcutter head of development, said: “We were delighted by the immediate popularity of this event. I want all our stores to be closely integrated into the communities they serve.
“The Handside community is very active and close-knit, as we saw from the fight it put up three years ago to save the post office – and the fact that it has now been re-opened.
“All the kids enjoyed themselves on the bouncy castle.
“They filled themselves up with fizzy drinks and the adults also had a good time.
“We raised more than £2,100 and Peter Dhesi, the local store manager, handed Mrs Judith Chamberlain, headteacher at Lakeside, a nice cheque – which she readily accepted!”
Mrs Chamberlain said she was delighted to receive the donation and thanked Mr Dhesi and his team for their generous and continuing support.
She said that some of the money raised would be used to replace a tricycle stolen from the school in the summer, “which will please the pupils”.
Handside ward councillor and deputy mayor Helen Bromley and veteran ex-councillor Dr Dennis Lewis were special guests.
Mr Lewis drew the first ticket in the raffle, with all the prizes donated by Costcutter.
He said it had been a unique occasion and congratulated Costcutter on its initiative.
Also present was Mr Richard Edlin, manager of Huttons, who was still smiling from having helped to re-open the post office in Huttons, just a few yards down the road from the Costcutter store.
Cllr Bromley said: “Pupils at Lakeside School will benefit from the money raised, people who attended the event had a great time, and Costcutter has become such a valuable part of the Handside community.
“They worked hard to get sponsors for this event and it has been a great way for them to thank the local people for their continued custom, and at the same time raised much needed money for such a wonderful school.”
Diane Males, who has worked at the checkout at Handside Costcutter for the past eight years, said: “It has been a fantastic day in which we have all enjoyed ourselves enormously. What a wonderful idea!”
Store manager Mr Dhesi pointed out he was celebrating 20 years in the Handside store, adding: “It is just like a village here, where you see the local residents frequently.
“Today, I am proud to be associated with Costcutter. It was a golden opportunity for us to say ‘thank you’ to all our customers, and they in turn came to the fun day which we organised, especially for the kids.”
Wrapping up the event, Dr Lewis said: “I was privileged to have represented Handside for 39 years as a district and then borough councillor.
“We have a wonderful community spirit here in Handside ward and I think I was the first one to suggest that we should use the word ‘village’ to describe what we are.
“Costcutter has done a great job here today, and I do hope we can look forward to our village fun day at least once a year!”
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