Popular Valley Gardens event 'under threat'

Charity day - Families enjoying the sun and entertainment in Valley Gardens at last year's The Big Picnic.
Charity day - Families enjoying the sun and entertainment in Valley Gardens at last year's The Big Picnic.

One of Valley Gardens' most popular events is under threat.

Held in July each year since 2006 to raise funds for equipment at Harrogate Hospital, organisers say The Big Picnic may not happen unless new sponsors come forward.

Despite years of hard work, the unpaid volunteers, led by Colette Lain and Andy Wilkinson on behalf of The Friends of Harrogate Hospital, say the amount of support since their biggest backer pulled out of this charity day is simply inadequate.

Colette Lain said: "The Big Picnic is a fantastic free family day out and is now firmly marked in the community diary.
"Procter & Gamble, who started the event, have been very generous, donating their products to sell well below cost on the day.
"The sole monetary sponsor has been Smiths the Rink. We are really grateful for all the support the event has been given butk, unfortunately Procter & Gamble can no longer sponsor this event."

Over the years, The Big Picnic has grown so much that, last year, Harrogate Borough Council recorded that 29,000 people had passed through Valley Gardens during the event.

In order to safeguard this much-loved Harrogate family day out, Colette has now set up a Facebook page.

She said: "What is really needed is a major sponsor or a number of smaller sponsors. I have set up a Big Picnic Facebook page and I am now organising a website to attract more publicity.
"Sponsors would be offered advertising on both, as well as their logo on all advertising material including on Wm H Brown's 6,000 flyers for the event.
"It would be such a shame to see this wonderful day out cancelled due to lack of support."

Colette said she remained grateful for previous support by Fishers Harrogate Ltd Removals, who helped with storing and delivering the products, while Wm H Brown organised publicity and monetary sponsor is Smiths the Rink.

Any organisation which would like to support The Big Picnic is asked to contact Colette at bigpicnic2018@gmail.com or on 07538098384.

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