The Heathfield Show proves its not-for-profit credentials with an unprecedented charity handout on Monday evening.
The Merrie Harriers, Cowbeech, is the venue for a presentation evening hosted by the Heathfield and District Agricultural Show Society.
Organisations set to receive substantial cheques towards their work include youth groups, pre-schools, a hospice and churches.
Pointing out it’s in line with Society rules money should be distributed, Secretary Nicola Magill said: “We’ll be presenting donations totalling over £18,000 to organisations that either helped out at this year’s show by fielding teams of stewards or are nominated beneficiaries.”
With 500 more people through the gate on the day and an extra 500 in advance ticket sales, this year’s attendance was up by 1,000.
This year’s Show focused even more closely on the relationships between producers and family food shoppers with ‘provenance’of particular importance, given the ‘horsegate’ scandal.
Nicola said: “Each year the Show builds on how central the agricultural community is to this part of Sussex and we aim to introduce people to local producers. We hope that people like what they buy and then support a local butcher, dairy or greengrocer.”
Among those fielding volunteers were: ISIS Medical; Heathfield and Waldron Rugby Club; Hellingly School PTA; Horam Friends of Cancer Research; Horam Scouts and Guides; Kipling Driving for the Disabled; Friends of St George’s Church, Broad Oak; St Michael’s Hospice; Tonbridge Juddians Rugby Football Club and the Working Horse Trust.
Paul Wilson, president of Heathfield and Waldron Rugby Club, said: “About 100-120 members provide car park marshals, general help on the day and clearing up afterwards. The Show generously reciprocates with donations to our club which does so much to help the community. So it’s a two-way benefit.”
Jan McSweeney, from the Kipling County Carriage Driving for the Disabled group based at Chalvington, said: “Three of us are going to the presentation on Monday, including Jay Bonner who is a disabled driver herself.
“Kirsty Chambers, the vet in charge on the day, nominated us to receive a donation. We don’t know yet exactly what the money will go towards but carriage driving equipment is specialised and expensive - for example our carriages have to be able to accommodate wheelchairs. If anyone would like to help out on a Monday, get in touch!” Contact Jan at: firstname.lastname@example.org