Lack of funding results in cancellation of St Helen Auckland gala

The Advertiser Series: Lack of funding results in cancellation of gala (file pic of bunting) Lack of funding results in cancellation of gala (file pic of bunting)

ORGANISERS of a popular annual village gala have been forced to cancel it due to lack of funding.

The family fun day in St Helen Auckland was due to take place on Saturday, June 28.

However, with the event operating at a loss of about £3,000, members of St Helen’s Residents’ Association, who have organised it for the past 15 years, felt they had no choice but to abandon plans for this year.

The group is now appealing for funding ideas and new volunteers to come on board in the hope that it can return in 2015.

David Hall, secretary for St Helen’s Residents’ Association, said: “Unfortunately we have had to cancel it due to lack of funds. We have had to make the decision now because things need to be booked in advance.

“The gala just doesn’t make money and we had to fork out for things like marquees.”

Funding for the event in the past has been provided by donations from housing developers who have built in the village, and the area’s two county councillors also contribute annually.

“We just don’t have the money available this year, despite the councillors contributing as usual,” said Mr Hall.

“We also need some new volunteers to come forward. There are about seven of us who put this on and we are not getting any younger.

“It is the same faces each year and it is a lot of work. We have done our best for many years but it is a 12 hour day and it is not easy.”

He added: “We are hoping to go-ahead next year but we haven’t made any firm decision. We are interested to hear from anyone who has ideas for funding and wants to help.”

The St Helen’s Residents’ Association is hoping to fund a Christmas tree for the green this year and also put on a festive event.

Anyone wanting to get involved with the gala is invited to attend the monthly residents’ association meeting in the Selby Close Community Centre on Monday, March 24, at 7pm.

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