HOW often is it possible to pick up sensational bargains, spend an enjoyable morning meeting friends and chatting over coffee or lunch, and at the same time help to raise a great deal of money for a worthy cause? Attending the hft (formerly Home Farm Trust) Christmas Fair on 24th November at Wincanton Memorial Hall, 10am-1.30pm offers the chance to do all those things for the modest entrance price of 50p.
Now in its 35th year, for many people, this fair is unmissable. Run by volunteers and entirely stocked by donations, it is famous for offering sensational bargains. Desirable items, many unused and in mint condition, are wheedled from willing donors. Nothing is bought in, and there are no commercial dealers involved.
Cooks are persuaded to provide cakes and a wide range of toothsome goodies – an unbelievable quantity of homemade mince pies is sold. Gardens yield up fresh produce. Shoppers can find unique Christmas decorations, or browse among a vast range of books, DVDs and CDs. The Antique Road Show wouldn't spurn items on Trash & Treasures, or pictures on the Art stall. Need some plants? Both indoor and outdoor are there. Gifts are in abundance; desirable handbags and scarves can be found at the Bag Lady. How about a natty item of gents clothing, or children's clothes and toys? The Kitchen Dresser stocks covetable utensils and china, plus cookery books. Fun can be had with the bottle stall and raffle, the prizes are well worth winning. Refreshments are available all morning, including a delicious light lunch to round off a happy morning's shopping.
All the takings go to hft. Once known as the Home Farm Trust, hft provides support services for adults with learning disabilities, their families and carers. The charity works closely with families, local authorities and other partners to find the best solution to meet individual needs; to enable people with learning disabilities to live the way that suits them, to have friends, pursue hobbies, find work and make the contribution they want to make to their local communities.
Last year, under the dedicated chairmanship of the Countess de Salis, the Wincanton hft Christmas Fair raised £11,500, which was put towards acquiring property in Cornwall for young people in transition from children's to adult services.
So go along to Wincanton Memorial Hall, have an enjoyable time, do some shopping and go home knowing you have helped a very worthy cause.