Saturday, 3rd of November 2018.
My first Communicare Vintage and Craft fair as a volunteer.
I’ve been before with my SingNow friends a few times. I still vividly remember the scrumptious slice of carrot cake I had the first time I’ve been and that’s where I got the hand-knitted peach hat from my brother Andi loved so much, he kept after climbing Snowdon because it reminded him of me and brought back with him to Ben Nevis a year later.
If you haven’t heard of Communicare before, is a great charity offering befriending, shopping, DIY, transport and other services to those who need it in Southampton.
I always loved the bi-annual Communicare fairs and now I got to be part of it. I’ve been volunteering with Communicare as an events assistant for a while now but since I unfortunately work full-time I can’t attend many of their daytime events, I couldn’t wait for the Vintage and Craft fair, the first event I could help out with.
I was asked to design a flier for it months ago and thanks to Canva, an online platform with free templates- I highly recommend if you want professional-looking leaflets and posters, I came up with this one:
After months, the day finally came. And I had such a wonderful time, I went home tired but with a huge grin on my face that lasted for days (well until Monday morning, when reality kicked in and I had to go to work and spend hours staring at spreadsheets).
I made it on time, I know, some of you may be surprised but I always make it on time for things I really care (getting a taxi also helped!).
Collecting the prizes for the raffle gave me the opportunity to meet and have a chat with all the wonderful stallholders. There was a great variety from antique items, to Beach themed crafts, Christmas decorations, jewellery and paintings.
I spent some time giving out fliers outside with Vicky who was dressed as a bear, adorable, and I was so happy some of the people I gave fliers to, a lovely man with his three daughters who promised to pop by after the girls had their nails done and two couples, amongst others, decided to pop in and see what it was all about.
After a little wander and some purchases- it was hard to resist- I had a break for some delicious cake, again it was VERY hard to choose because of the endless options but I went for banana and chocolate. Yum!
I spent the rest of my time manning the stand for the impressive hand-knitted Nativity kindly donated by Bob ( I think, apologies if I mixed up the names) and selling our wonderful Communibears, of course I bought one too, they were too cute not to, and hand-knitted hats and scarfs.
I loved everything about it. The atmosphere, the live music, Jim Rogers (I can’t believe he sang one of my favourite Ryan Adams songs, Come Pick Me Up is a tune) and Serena Lin, who initially thought a CD was on, she was that good, were incredible, the stalls and all the lovely people I got to meet (and of course lovely people I already knew such as the wonderful Barbara, I love that lady so much, one of the nicest people I’ve ever met).
I’ll never forget Margaret, a retired teacher who went around to sell more teddy bears and ended up buying one for a little girl, she then bumped into one of her students from 30 odd years ago who told her she was the best teacher she ever had. After she took a picture of herself and her student’s family all together she asked her if she could record her saying that she was the best teacher she ever had. The joy in her face was indescribable.
Margaret was just one of the many wonderful humans I had the pure pleasure of meeting that day. There are too many to list and it’s impossible to remember all the names, but every single one made me feel welcome, something I always worry about as an expat living in the UK.
I wish I got to do this every day. Spend all my time making people smile. Maybe one day I’ll start my own charity to do just that. Who knows. Maybe…
In the meantime, I can’t wait for the next Communicare event. Thank you to the lovely Annie, Bryony and everyone else at Communicare for letting me be part of their wonderful charity and help a little little raising money for such a noble cause.
PS Communicare is always looking for more volunteers, so if you fancy joining this beautiful community, or you’d like to donate or attend future events, all details are here.