THIS year’s Kingsway Street Party was extra special – because as well as having a right royal time at their fifth annual gathering the good neighbours of Kingsway and Kingsway Avenue raised an impressive £500 for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices.
The first party was held in 2011, and has since attracted some 160 guests each year. I was chatting with a couple of neighbours and we thought our road would be ideal for a street party,” said Lydia Meyler, one of the organisers.
“We put a leaflet through every door asking what people thought, and invited them to a meeting if they were interested.
“The idea really took off and lots of neighbours got involved. Since then we have held a party every summer. Over the years we have got to know so many of our neighbours, it’s been a really positive experience and lots of good friendships have been formed. It really contributes to our community spirit.”
Denise Bareford, another of the organisers, agrees: “One of the best things about the party is that we close a whole section of our road – the council give us permission.
“It’s such fun for the children to be able to come out and play in the road, it is a lovely safe space for them and they love it. They can also get creative, chalk-drawing on the road and pavement; and we arrange other fun activities too. And everyone joins in on the tug of war – odds versus evens.”
Angela Underwood is also involved in organising the party, and this year she took on running the silent auction.
She explained: “We always do a bit of fundraising at the party to cover the costs of running it, and everybody brings food and drink to share, so nobody has to pay to join in. However, this year we realised that if we did a bit of extra fundraising we could support the hospices too.”
“The team at Woking Hospice gave us some good ideas and a letter explaining that we were fundraising on their behalf, which gave us the confidence to go out and ask for prizes. I was so impressed with the generosity of local businesses, as well as many neighbours who donated prizes.
“As well as the silent auction, we had a couple of other fundraising events.
“One little boy organised a tombola, and together with his mum who ran a sweetie raffle, raised nearly £70.
“We had so much support and we are absolutely delighted to be able to give £500 to the hospices.”
The organisers agree that they are particularly proud that the street party has helped the hospices: “We all know someone who has been helped and supported by the hospices, including some very dear neighbours, and it’s great to support a charity that is so valued in our community.
“Above all, we’d like to thank all the local businesses and neighbours who donated prizes and services, and the generous neighbours who supported our fundraising events on the day.”