Christ­mas Fair in the Cotswolds

The ca­ma­raderie and team­work that con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of The Christ­mas Fair in the Cotswolds

Cotswold Life - - INSIDE - THE CHRIST­MAS FAIR IN THE COTSWOLDS : Novem­ber 5-7

The Christ­mas Fair in the Cotswolds is a widely an­tic­i­pated event which cel­e­brates the be­gin­ning of fes­tive prepa­ra­tions here in the Cotswolds. With over 200 stalls, in three mag­nif­i­cent mar­quees, the fair boasts an in­spir­ing range of unique prod­ucts. In ad­di­tion to ticket sales, 10% of all pur­chases are do­nated to Wellchild, the na­tional char­ity for se­ri­ously ill chil­dren. The en­thu­si­as­tic cus­tomers who visit the fair to source orig­i­nal Christ­mas gifts for friends and fam­ily, can be re­lieved of any con­sumer guilt happy in the knowl­edge that every penny spent will help ben­e­fit this im­por­tant char­ity.

As with any suc­cess­ful busi­ness, Lucy Greaves, di­rec­tor of the fair since 1985, mod­estly at­tributes the suc­cess of this in­cred­i­ble fes­tive event to her ded­i­cated com­mit­tee mem­bers.

Sal God­man, a found­ing mem­ber of the com­mit­tee, who helps with every as­pect of the fair in­clud­ing as­sist­ing with the cham­pagne draw and or­gan­is­ing the com­pli­cated rota sys­tem for helpers, re­calls at­tend­ing one of Lucy’s first home sales in the 1980s: “It con­sisted of a rail of over­sized

cash­mere coats with big shoul­ders – ir­re­sistible! The leg warm­ers were also a must!”

The fair has grown con­sid­er­ably since these early days but the style and qual­ity of the event con­tinue to in­spire nu­mer­ous skilled pro­fes­sion­als to ded­i­cate their time and ex­per­tise to as­sist with var­i­ous dif­fer­ent as­pects of this im­por­tant an­nual event.

Josephine Rossi, an in­te­rior de­signer who is based in the Cotswolds, ex­hib­ited at one of Lucy’s first events and now lends her pro­fes­sional eye to help select the most- high qual­ity, de­sir­able prod­ucts from the thou­sands of ap­pli­ca­tions made each year for one of the much-cov­eted stalls. Josephine’s aes­thetic vi­sion has been in­trin­sic to de­vel­op­ing im­agery for the brand and styling the event. “We pride our­selves on the cre­ativ­ity and qual­ity of the prod­ucts which are sold at the fair so it has al­ways been es­sen­tial to en­sure that the brand­ing and aes­thet­ics of the event re­flect this sense of style. Josephine’s back­ground as an in­te­rior de­signer has been in­valu­able in achiev­ing this,” ex­plains Lucy.

Al­though Lucy has been man­ag­ing events for over 33 years, the ca­ma­raderie and sup­port of­fered by com­mit­tee mem­bers with shared ex­pe­ri­ence of the events in­dus­try has been a huge sup­port. “There are sev­eral mem­bers of the com­mit­tee who come from an events back­ground. To be able to share our knowl­edge and ad­vice is hugely re­as­sur­ing.”

Ca­role Duck­worth bal­ances the de­mands of young chil­dren with a high-pro­file job work­ing in events spon­sor­ship and part­ner­ships for Deutsche Bank Wealth Man­age­ment. She was so in­spired by the qual­ity of the event that she was happy to of­fer her in­valu­able sup­port; “I love the en­ergy of Lucy Greaves and the other com­mit­tee mem­bers and am proud to sup­port such a de­serv­ing char­ity. Lucy’s eye for in­ter­est­ing new ex­hibitors means I also man­age to do al­most all of my own Christ­mas shop­ping at the Fair too!”

Run­ning an event of this scale re­quires a vast range of dif­fer­ent skills. Lucy is al­ways grate­ful for the di­verse tal­ents shared by her en­thu­si­as­tic com­mit­tee; He­len Pri­day runs her own mar­ket­ing busi­ness and has been in­volved with the House & Gar­den Fes­ti­val as well as launch­ing the Spirit of Christ­mas event. As such, she has

been well po­si­tioned to ad­vise Lucy on all as­pects of mar­ket­ing strat­egy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions for The Christ­mas Fair in the Cotswolds. Sim­i­larly, Vix Vennno­vis­simo runs Cotswold Con­sult­ing and as­sists her clients with so­cial me­dia, di­rect mar­ket­ing and busi­ness op­er­a­tions. Her sup­port and guid­ance in as­sist­ing Lucy with the so­cial me­dia as­pect of the fair has been vi­tal.

As well as the vast range of pro­fes­sional ex­pe­ri­ence shared by com­mit­tee mem­bers, the real suc­cess of the team is their will­ing­ness to ‘muck in’ and help with all as­pects of the event. Laura Grive has been on the com­mit­tee since 2003 and of­ten per­suades her daugh­ters to help stuff en­velopes for the in­vi­ta­tions and has even bought her hus­band a high-vis jacket so that he can as­sist with park­ing du­ties on open­ing night. As Deb­bie Marks ex­plains, “The Fairs are al­ways hard work but great fun. I feel very proud to be part of a great team that raises such a lot of money for a worth­while cause.”

“I feel in­cred­i­bly lucky to be sup­ported by such an in­cred­i­bly ded­i­cated com­mit­tee,” ex­plains Lucy. “It is their en­thu­si­asm and shared com­mit­ment to the char­i­ta­ble ethos of the event which cre­ates such an in­spir­ing at­mos­phere at the fair. Ul­ti­mately, the Christ­mas Fair in the Cotswolds is all about rais­ing money for Wellchild. I am so grate­ful to all of my com­mit­tee mem­bers and vol­un­teers that share their time and ex­per­tise for such an im­por­tant cause.”

‘I feel in­cred­i­bly lucky to be sup­ported by such an in­cred­i­bly ded­i­cated com­mit­tee’

Dubarry of Ire­land

Wellchild Christ­mas Fair at Dayles­ford Farm

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