FREE FOR ALL
SATURDAY 22ND APRIL 11am – 2pm
On Saturday 22nd April, Arran CVS hosted the first ‘Free For All’ event at Arran High School, Lamlash. The event highlighted some of the great work and free activities available in our communities, bringing people together to share a free lunch.
The intention was to celebrate and showcase all the wonderful voluntary groups and organisations who offer amazing services and often a vital lifeline to residents on the Island. The event was completely free for everyone – the organisations, community groups, and the public.
This was a great opportunity for organisations to network with each other, promote activities and services which they have on offer to the public and recruit any new volunteers required.
22nd April was also World Earth Day, so there was no single use plastics on the buffet, and other groups were encouraged to consider their own contribution on the day.
What happened on the day?
- A large marketplace area was created for stalls to showcase their organisation, activities, and volunteering opportunities.
- Fabulous entertainment was provided throughout the day by Arran Music School and the Taiko Drummers.
- Sandwiches, cakes and refreshments were provided by Arran CVS, attending groups were encouraged to contribute food to a community table for sharing. Vegan soup, bread and baking, tea and coffee was provided free from Arran Eco Savvy’s Zero Waste Café.
- KA Leisure were in attendance with the Activator bus, a bouncy castle and a range of outdoor activities for all ages to enjoy.
- Free face-painting was available, thanks to Emma Campbell, volunteer.
- The Arran Outdoor Centre brought along their climbing wall.
- The Arran Hockey Club were in attendance offering outdoor hockey taster sessions.
- Arran Sound were on site recording for their next radio show.
- The Fire Service brought along two appliances for the public to enjoy, North Ayrshire Council Library Bus was also in attendance.
- Arran Eco Savvy had their e-bikes on hand and people were able to trial them.
A holistic zone was created for quieter wellbeing activities. These included various complementary therapies from Heather Lodge, an opportunity to experience virtual reality equipment provided by TACT. There were therapy pet dogs there to greet people brought along by Therapets. Arran Visual Arts showcased some of their amazing art works and promoted the benefits of the group.
Some of the fabulous feedback received:
- “I enjoyed the event and had a few people make enquires about joining my group.”
- “Events sometimes fall short of expectations. Not this time. We had numerous valuable discussions and harvested lots of email addresses for our new newsletter. Thanks to everyone at ACVS for a great day.”
- “The challenge with these types of events is getting enough notice to recruit volunteers to cover the stalls! If we had more volunteers, it would have been great to go round all the stalls as there wasn’t time as it was so busy! A great complaint to have! Well done to everyone involved, it was a huge SUCCESS!”
- “What a brilliant day, we all thought it was great and everyone we spoke to thought so as well. Congratulations and well done to you and all the team. We recruited a number of volunteers and had great feedback from the visitors, it was really well organised, and we felt the numbers attending were high, certainly they were in our hall. The people we spoke to were engaged and focused on 'finding out' about us and the stalls around us. We think it was a resounding success and if you decide to do it again next year, please put us at the top of your list.”
- “Great to chat to different ages of folk as tend to meet an older demographic. We are trying to promote AVA to younger people. It helped to talk to all.”
- “Had a great day with around 40 children trying out virtual reality. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and found lots of interesting activities at the event. Well done to all!”
- “Excellent mix of conversations and far exceeded expectations.”
- “Generally, a very sociable, informative event. Thank for organising.”
- “Good to see ACVS take the lead with the wider volunteer community on the island ????”
It was an eventful, fun filled day, well supported and attended by many members of the Arran community.
Look forward to welcoming everyone again for 2023!
If you have ideas on how to make it even better or want to get involved, please do get in touch ????