Arriving after the long drive up from Cornwall through rain and fog, the cloud lifted and a beautiful autumn light warmed the sea and beach at Kewstoke, near Weston Super Mare, where the Peace Partners’ Celebration Tea Party was about to begin.
The village hall at Kewstoke was a perfect venue for the annual fundraising event, which had been planned to raise awareness of the groundbreaking work undertaken by TPRF’s Food for People programme and to raise funds for the project.
More than seventy volunteers and supporters of Peace Partners came from as far away as Manchester and Jersey in the Channel Isles to enjoy the inspirational afternoon.
We were warmly welcomed with a glass or two of Bees Knees fizz and a delicious hot samosa. The afternoon began by meeting old friends and ‘putting faces’ to people known previously only online, while a mesmerising magician circulated, delighting us with his tricks.
Our MC, Pete Cook introduced Juli Hammersley who opened the event with a brief summary of the growth of Peace Partners over the past three years. She moved on to talk inspirationally about her personal experience of spending time at the Food for People facilities in India and Nepal, recounting some of the human stories behind the groundbreaking work the charity is undertaking.
While we relaxed as tea was brewed and scones taken out of the oven, we were treated to a set of beautiful songs from Jolene Lawrence, accompanying herself on guitar, Josie Hughes also performed a song from her new CD.
The stunning centrepiece cream tea was served by volunteers on individual place settings, many of them antique, and I can only say I have never seen cakes and scones piled so high, with so much cream and jam to ease their way to digestion. All presented with outstanding style and grace.
A number of beautiful artworks and handcrafted items had been donated for the auction, which David Hughes conducted with wit and humour and with much audience participation. This theme was continued by a raffle for the many other donated goodies, and the traditional ‘weighing of the cake’ competition.
Following on from the auction we were dazzled by a truly outstanding performance by Bill Benham, a renowned concert violinist, who played a series of violin solos from his extensive repertoire. The performance was one of the unexpected highlights of the afternoon.
Tables were then cleared and space created for a performance by the Tim Hain band. Many of us risked life, limb and indigestion by taking to the floor and rocking the afternoon to a close with the band’s unique mix of ‘Bleggae’, a combination of blues and reggae music, and in the process hopefully dancing off some of the calories taken on board during the afternoon.
It was a lovely, inspirational time, full of good humour and good food enjoyed in great company. I would personally like to thank the many people who put so much time and consideration into making the day so special.
An amazing total of £2,718.00 was raised, equating to 5,800 meals served at the Food for People facilities.
Thank you all so much for your outstanding generosity and good will.
The Waves of Change PRACTICE PEACE Forum hosted on INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 21st SEPTEMBER in CROYDON
On the International Day of Peace, Saturday 21st September, some 70 people from various backgrounds and organisations attended the Waves of Change ‘Practice Peace’ forum at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls in South London. The day long event was hosted by Peace Partners in association with The Tutu Foundation UK and Youth Futures.
The aims of the event were summarised by Dr. Mitesh Desai, the day’s chair person, as “to reflect on how peace can become a reality for us as individuals, for our families, in our communities, and indeed for countries across the world”.
In partnership with PeaceCast.tv the entire event was streamed live and formed a part of PeaceCast.tv’s annual Peace Day global webcast. This had the effect of increasing the event audience several times over.
There were presentations on The Prem Rawat Foundation’s Peace Education Programme and the Tutu Foundation’s Ubuntu Youth Project, as well as from a number of groups from the Croydon area with an active focus on youth well being and conflict resolution. A signing of the Pledge to Peace and a Meditation vigil were held, and invited guests included Shaniqua Benjamin, Croydon's Deputy Mayor and the Iman of Croydon Mosque. Also included were videos, live music and poetry, a panel debate with audience participation, and a Youth Futures workshop.
Measured by the reactions from presenters, attendees (even from some of the venue staff) and by the new connections established, this Peace Day celebration event, in preparation for several months, was a wonderful success! It seems that the remote audience viewing via the internet felt the benefit too, one viewer from Australia commenting “I watched for hours last night simultaneously with my son, over 1000 kilometres away. We had our phones on so could comment and enjoy together. Fantastic. Thank you Peacecast.tv team and Peace Partners UK and everyone who contributed.“
Comments from attendees included these: “an amazing event” “an awesome day” “a brilliant feeling event” “it was a pleasure to be there” “a wonderful event”.
An edited recording of the livestream video from the event is already available (it is best played on a mobile device). You can view it here https://youtu.be/Gw2AL5AD31Y
We hope to produce very good quality video from the event in due course - please keep an eye out on our website and social media for more.
View a brief slide show from the event.
With our thanks and gratitude to all our collaborators who helped make the event so successful!
Join us at Peace Partners’ Celebration Tea Party to raise funds for