If you want something doing ask a busy person
Firstly, a polite suggestion made by one of the website readers “if you mention the Brentford Festival then you should also make the date known” whoops. I always presume that after 13 years everyone knows it is always the first Sunday in September. So, I consider myself told and ask you to put the date in your diary for 2018 – Sunday 2nd September noon to 6pm in Blondin Park, W5 (which has Brentford houses backing on to it on two sides before the arguments start!).
Part of the success behind the festival is the great team of volunteers who help make it all happen. One of these is Virginia Fassnidge who always seems so busy. I have asked her to share with you her involvement with the festival and the voluntary world.
“I’ve been involved with the Festival since it started in 2005. I’d recently moved to Brentford, and it seemed a good way of finding out what was going on in the area. It certainly has been, as I’ve come in contact with so many local groups and individuals over the years and have got to know some of them very well.
For most of the time I’ve been in charge of the stalls bookings. This involves contacting previous stallholders to invite them to take part again (usually around March), confirming bookings from old and new participants, answering queries, and making notes of any special requests. In August I draw up the plan, taking into account if people have asked to be next to a friend, in the same spot as last year, etc., send out the pitch numbers, car park permits and information about the arrangements. Then, apart from answering any questions that arise (and there always are one or two) it’s just waiting for the big day and hoping for good weather.
During the Festival I try to get round all the stalls at some point, checking that everything’s going all right. It’s great to see old friends, meet new stallholders, and see all the good things they have on offer.
It’s obvious that the Festival only takes up half my year, so what do I do with the rest of it?
Through the Festival I got to know Disability Network Hounslow and I’m now one of the Trustees, helping to organize various activities, including a small allotment garden in Isleworth. I’ve been volunteering at Osterley Park for almost as long as I’ve been involved with the Festival, first working with the Rangers and more recently in the second-hand bookshop. These are just two of the many things that fill up my diary. Retirement certainly isn’t restful!”
It has to be said that we are always looking for more volunteers to help us on the actual day. We try to fit the personality to the job and usually have around 40 people but more would be useful. If you are interested I would love to hear from you.