Local organisations were amongst those to benefit from Bridport Hat Festival donations at a presentation party held in December at festival-supporting hostelry The Ropemakers.
Four good causes collected cheques on the night, with one more having already received its share – Bridport Mind Fest, held for the first time in October, was given a donation early to help with its costs.
Volunteer-run Bridport Hat Festival donates its profits to head-related charities, so, on their behalf, committee member Brian Atkinson handed over hefty cheques on the night to regular recipients Brain Tumour Research and BIRT, the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Trust, both receiving £1,000, while inclusive local performance group No Limits and Brainwave, the chosen charity of Brit Valley Rotary Club, received £250 each, as had Mind Fest.
Speaking to the invited crowd of hat festival sponsors, donors and volunteers, representatives of the good causes thanked everyone for the donations and added something on the good that they would do.
Emma Cronin from national charity Brain Tumour Research detailed how funds are channelled into seeking a cure, and Amy Carrington and Denise Greenwood from BIRT centre the Woodmill, at Cullompton in Devon (the nearest centre and the one that HatFest directly supports) reported that the donation would pay for 20 sessions of invaluable hydrotherapy for brain-injured residents.
An overview of the all-abilities dance and music project No Limits, which has now performed at two hat festivals in Borough Garden, was given by its lead dance artist Anna Golding, while Phil Payne, of Brit Valley Rotary Club whose members helped man the festival on ‘Haturday’ back in September, explained that children’s charity Brainwave was his choice as current president.
Lastly, Simon Williams from Mind Fest elaborated on their mission and expressed a hope that the two local festivals would continue to enjoy a good relationship in the future.
Before the guests tucked into a buffet, Bridport’s mayor, Councillor Ann Rickard (sporting a gold top hat for the occasion), thanked the committee for their work throughout the year and acclaimed Bridport Hat Festival as the most inclusive and fun major event in the town calendar, one which “puts a smile on everybody’s face”.
An appeal was also made for new volunteers to both join the committee (meetings starting in January) and to help on the annual big day, ‘Haturday’ – those interested to please get in touch via www.bridporthatfest.org or tel 01308 250350.