Fifth at Brighton VegfestUK
Report by Peter Simpson
VRUK returned to the festival that has now become established in the area and over two days. Thanks to the organisers VegfestUK, thousands of visitors were attracted to the event including non-veggies as well as veggies and vegans. After our success stall in 2012 on the ground floor, we returned to the same position. Prior to the opening of the event, there was plenty of time for our local members to meet-up for our monthly Hove Park 5K, rescheduled from the normal 2nd Saturday. The turnout was our highest to date, boosted by some of our members visiting the area for the festival. Dave counted ten vegan runners at the Hove Parkrun.
Photo Left: Kevin Harris, VR2, Chris Stevenson, Georgie Simmons, Darren Spindler with baby, Dave Arnold, Paula Blackledge (below), VR8, Astrid Blackledge and Sam Wilson
Weather conditions were not ideal with rain and chilly wind but relatively mild compared to conditions a week later.
Meanwhile Peter was setting up the stall inside the Hove Centre in comfort, it normally takes about two hours. Visitors were soon showing interest and signing up for our contacts list and by the end we were pleased with fifty new contacts. Our first range of books immediately attracted interest, selling at least one of each title, seven in total so, encouraging us to regularly keep a stock for future events. Sales of our clothing was modest, 11 items over the two days including 6 running vests and 3 running tops. We welcomed three new members joining at the event including Simeon Elliott who is one of the organisers of the Hove Park Run, Matt Campbell and Tom Kerry-Goldsmith.
We gave publicity for Fiona Oakes’ North Pole Marathon with a licensed collection box available to raise funds for the Tower Hill Stables Animal Sanctuary. Interest was rather disappointing here, collecting £7.20 but there were a lot of competing animal organisations and stalls in general.
The presence of members covering the stall allowed me to take breaks, the first day probably the busiest with my voice breaking up later in the day.
Thanks to all our volunteers including: Dave Arnold, Sam Wilson, Kevin Harris, Christopher Stevenson, Paula Blackledge and Astrid in the background. We counted around TWENTY-FIVE members including volunteers at the 2-day event with member Vanessa Hudson giving a talk on behalf of Animals Count political party.
The stall had taking of £385 about par for a 2-day event and similar to the Bristol VegfestUK event where VRUK is currently in the process of booking a stall on 25 and 26 May.