When Charities Collide

Up and down the country at this time of year thousands of people in hundreds of communities come together to celebrate the historical values and traditions of carnival. Notting Hill is spectacular, so too are the summer village and town carnivals which all incorporate central ingredients that make them quintessentially British. The Carnival Queen arrives with her entourage, working Lorries and trucks are transformed into themed floats, all vying to be voted best-dressed of the year. Said vehicles are usually donated by transport companies who understand the value of such high profile local publicity. The carnival procession is a highlight as town and city centres are given over to the jollity and escapism of a spectacular display of smiles and waving. Traffic is diverted and life, for a moment in time, is a happy thing. Lord and Lady Mayors attend along with other local dignitaries, councillors, business leaders: they all lend their support by being seen to be seen. The central theme to the annual carnival, wherever it is, is charity. It’s ‘giving’ on a vast scale to numerous causes of all descriptions that depend on the publics giving nature to exist. In many cases to just stand still! Yet, as we all know, very few things in this life are free and the carnival committee have a book that needs balancing. They incur unavoidable and legal costs which have to be passed on. Insurances, licenses, policing, equipment, permissions of all kinds: it all costs money. It’s a sad irony that these costs are passed on to the charities who’s fabulous stalls make up the colour around the carnival ground invariably manned by volunteers who do their best to cajole us into parting with our cash. That’s why they and we are there. Yet for every penny that goes from the charities to the committee is a lost cost, never to be seen again. Then my friend Olivia came up with, what I thought to be a workable, plausible and obvious solution. Why not have two or three people working alongside the carnival committee whose sole task is to contact the local business community to sponsor the cost of the various charities plot? After all, I think I’m right in saying that this might run to a maximum of, say £30. Everyone would win. The carnival committee get their costs up front, the business community would be involved as never before and, most importantly, none of the charities would lose money on the day. Perhaps I’m being naïve: perhaps this has already been considered. Yet surely even the smallest business venture can see the benefit of being associated with such an obvious community initiative. It could be argued that the charities could do this for themselves, yet if it were controlled from one central location the monies involved could be gathered in and allocated to the required costs that much sooner. Then, come the great day in summer, all anyone has to worry about is having a really good time.

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1 Comment

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One response to “When Charities Collide

  1. Pete Chisholm

    Subscribed at 0615 at the end of a 12 hour night shift!

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