Volunteering and community fair in Market Harborough draws plenty of interest

Centre... Neil O'Brien MP during the Community and Volunteers Fair on the Square. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER
Centre... Neil O'Brien MP during the Community and Volunteers Fair on the Square. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER

A Community and Volunteers Fair, organised by Harborough MP Neil O’Brien and Harborough District Council, has been hailed a success.

The MP and Council encouraged a range of charities, community and voluntary groups to showcase their work in the Fair, held in The Square. Market Harborough, on Saturday.

It was also a chance for them to appeal to new volunteers to join them.

Neil O’Brien said: “This was a fantastic day to showcase the excellent work underway across the district.

“Volunteers can make a huge difference to their communities, so I’d certainly encourage anyone who is keen to get involved in the good work, to do so.

“Charities and community groups are always in need of extra hands.”

Groups who had stalls at the Fair told the Mail they were pleased with how it went - despite the competition from Leicestershire’s County Show, just up the road.

“It was definitely worth having a stall here” said Lucinda Hardy of the charity Rainbows Children’s Hospice.

“We were looking for volunteers in our local shop and lots of people have taken away application forms.”

“We’ve had interest and handed out a lot of applications forms” agreed Judith Rout of Oxfam.

Alan Palmer of Harborough Theatre said there had been “a lot of interest”.

“We’re looking for younger people in particular, to carry the theatre through another 100 years!” he said.

Bev Brown of Market Harborough Carnival said the organising committee wanted to expand for next year’s Carnival on Saturday, June 8. The next Carnival meeting is at the Angel Hotel on Monday, September 3 at 7pm.

VASL’s Sandy Handley called the Fair “very useful” and Peter Hirst of Dementia Harborough said his group had gained new volunteers and some good networking.

Neil Bannister, Leader of Harborough District Council, said: “This was an excellent example of partners working together to offer an insight into what can be achieved through volunteering.”

- Worried your village might be isolated if the bus service is cut? Then maybe local charity Harborough Community Bus can help.

The charity was at the Community Fair, looking to recruit more volunteer drivers.

And charity chairman John Feavyour said his group could potentially step in if a village lost its bus service.

He said the best way was for a parish group to register with the charity, preferably with their own supply of volunteer drivers.

If they then book the community bus for a pre-arranged fee ”we can make a bus service happen”. Go to http://harboroughcommunitybus.co.uk
The charity has three minibuses with 14 to 16 passenger seats. All minibuses have lifts, and can carry wheelchairs.