Last month’s Cornwall Christmas Fair at the Eden Project raised an all-time high of £73,000 for Cornwall Community Foundation, smashing fundraising records since the event began 30 years ago. The vital funds will go towards helping Cornwall’s struggling communities and making a grassroots difference across the county.

Taking place over 24 hours with a preview evening on 10th November and a day of shopping on 11th November, the Fair kicked off Cornwall’s Christmas festivities. It brought together a varied, innovative and exciting selection of stallholders who, significantly, donated 15% of all takings to the fundraising effort.

The Eden Project threw open its gates for free for the event so every penny of the funds raised will now go direct to Cornwall Community Foundation and those in need. Thanks to South West Water, the attraction’s famous biomes shone blue for the duration of the event in recognition of Cornwall’s blue light services and their commitment and sacrifice over the last eighteen months.

Now in its 30th year, the Fair is organised by a team of volunteers, with the support of the Eden events team. The Eden Kitchen, between the two Biomes, played host to a glorious array of Christmas gifts, clothing, skincare, home accessories and decorations, with the Ginsters Food Hall showcasing a diverse range of artisan food and drink.

New for this year, the Coodes Christmas Card Stall sold exclusive Christmas cards with artwork donated by some of Cornwall’s most exciting artists, and renowned Cornish potter and artist, Paul Jackson, designed the Fair’s jute bag sponsored by Lillicrap Chilcott.

“Our team of volunteers has delivered a huge result for Cornwall,” comments Committee Co-Chair, Kate Holborow. “Little did my mother, Lady Mary Holborow, know when she organised the first Fair 30 years ago in her own home at Ladock, that the event would grow into a twinkly spectacle of this size. Over the years the Fair has now raised in excess of £853,500 for Cornwall’s charities.”

“Cornwall’s communities need us more than ever and this year’s fundraising will help to make a difference as we head into winter. We could not have achieved this without the support of The Eden Project, our incredibly supportive and enthusiastic sponsors, our amazing committee of volunteers, our brilliant stallholders and of course our visitors from Cornwall and beyond.”

Tamas Haydu, Chief Executive of Cornwall Community Foundation, adds: “It is an absolute honour to have the support of the Cornwall Christmas Fair and to benefit from the proceeds – what an amazing fundraising figure. It is remarkable how successfully the organising committee have revitalised the fair as we recover from Covid and the funds raised will go a long way in helping local communities and disadvantaged individuals. Thank you to everyone involved.”

The 20201 Cornwall Christmas Fair was sponsored and supported by: Ginsters of Cornwall, Lillicrap Chilcott, South West Water, Dales, Camel Creek Family Theme Park, Carlyon Beach, Rattler Gin, Stacks Property Search, Nixon Design, St Austell Printing Company, Jarrang, Coodes Solicitors, Walker Crips, PKF Francis Clark, Trevornick, VoiceGroup, St Austell Brewery, The Old Ship Hotel and Wild Card.
Where the funds are going:

Young & Talented – £20,000

The Young and Talented Fund, now headed by Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE, strives to help those young individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding talent in a particular field such as sport, the arts, science, voluntary service and enterprise but are struggling to achieve their ambition or progress in their chosen career because of hardship or disability.

Lord Lieutenant of Cornwall, Colonel Edward Bolitho OBE says, “I am in awe of the exceptional drive and talent of those young people the fund has been able to help strive to achieve their goals, whether in the world of sport, music, dance or other fields.”
Recent grant recipient Fabio Zamparelli a Paralympic shotput and discus thrower comments, “I feel blessed to have received a grant from Young & Talented Cornwall, it will enable me to travel across the UK and compete at National level Championships. It will help tremendously towards my athletic development and my ultimate goal of competing at the future Paralympics. Without the grant this would not be possible!”

Charlie Currie, Cornish mountain biker and Y&TC grant recipient adds, “I have been fortunate receive a grant from Young & Talented Cornwall and it has made the most significant difference in relieving a huge amount of financial burden my sport does put on me. I can now focus more time on training and results are beginning to show, after winning my first Elite National Series round in May. This year, my grant will be put towards travel to national and international events in the hope of being selected for the World Championship squad for my fourth time.

Crisis Fund – £10,000

The Crisis Fund benefits people who find themselves in crisis and are urgently in need of small, one-off amounts of money. These funds can be accessed through charitable organisations throughout Cornwall, like The Salvation Army who hold a pot of funds to distribute to individuals in crisis situations. Charitable organisations reaching people in crisis can apply to CCF for funds to be able to distribute small grants. This is usually £50 or less to a maximum of £90 when there is a need for immediate help to alleviate destitution or poverty.

Major Lisa Goble of The Salvation Army, Redruth, says, “We had a chap come in who had found himself a place in a bed sit. He had no bedding, towels and his boots were falling apart. We were able to use the money from Cornwall Community Foundation’s Crisis Fund to go into town and buy him the stuff he needed. He was very grateful so a very big thank you to the Foundation, it is good to know the money is there to help people in need.”

Jacqui White MBE, Project Manager at Wadebridge Foodbank and Storehouse adds, “We’ve been able to access Cornwall Community Foundation’s Crisis Fund over the years and it has always been an absolutely amazing thing for us to help the people coming into the Foodbank in need.”

Community Fund

The Community Fund supports a diverse range of inspirational community projects across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. All the projects supported by the fund are providing transformational support for vulnerable people in their communities.

Dangerous Dads Community Interest Company received funding of £3,700 to offer 22 free places at their DadFest event for male carers and their children. The funding was used to support parents who would not otherwise be able to attend. DadFest is a small, community-focused event with outdoor activities, such as campfire cooking, green woodworking, archery, Forest School activities, wildlife walks and quarry activities, facilitated by qualified and experienced leaders.

One of the dads commented, “As fathers, we’re kinda set up to fail especially working full time and separated for our partner. The conditions are very difficult so organisations like DadFest and Dangerous Dads is vital for me just to get these connections with other dads, and the children can connect with other children.”

Another dad said, “DadFest introduces us to things we wouldn’t normally try, and even some of the little things, we’ve been able to take those ideas home with us and explore them to our heart’s content.”
Cornwall Life Recycle works to improve the lives of those who are disadvantaged by helping them learn new skills, build confidence and to work as a team. Guided by a volunteer mentor, participants completely rebuild second-hand bicycles that have been donated to the project. Through the rebuild process and one to one mentor support, the participants learn a broad range of life and work skills. A grant of £4,400 from the Community Fund enabled the group to support more youngsters gain new technical and life skills.