Local charity festival scoops top award; raises record figure

Local charity festival scoops top award; raises record figure

The October 2015 Beeston Oxjam Takeover was last weekend confirmed as raising the most amount of money out of all Oxjam Takeovers in the Midlands, as well as being the third highest fundraiser out of the 53 Oxjams over the UK, trailing behind only Cheltenham (population three times larger than Beeston) and Islington (population ten times larger than Beeston.

This is especially newsworthy as Beeston is the smallest town to host a takeover, yet beat such cities as Glasgow, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool , Manchester, Brighton and Cardiff.

A total of £12,800 was raised at the 18th October event, which ran for 14 hours over 14 stages across Beeston venues, with 1,450 people buying wristbands to enjoy the evening celebrations, and many hundreds more enjoying the free events in town on the day. This was well over the target of £7,500, and even beat last year's £10,500 total.
The festival is in its fourth year in Beeston, after being set up by Beeston resident Carly Collingwood in 2011. Chief co-ordinator Heather Greenan said 'We've grown each year, and it's great to see how we've become a fabric of the town's calendar: it now seems we've established ourselves as the party to go to in October'.

This year's festival was notable for not just having its own beer, 'Oxjam FestivAle' brewed by Magpie Brewery, Nottingham; but its own sausage The Oxjam Banger, developed by award winning butcher and sausage genius, Johnny Pustzai of Beedhams Butchers.

The Festival also scooped the Oxfam 'Best Partnership' award, given to the festival that best engages the community, businesses and local authorities with the festival. The diverse range of fundraisers, use of local suppliers, engagement with the local council and ability to draw all aspects of the community together were all noted as examples of best practice from the team. Heather Greenan: 'We want this a festival for everyone to enjoy, something to bring the community together. Beeston has seen a fair bit of disturbance lately with the tramworks and Square development, so people want something to celebrate, something to enjoy and come together to. Oxjam Beeston certainly did that. We would like to thank all the volunteers who made the event run smoothly, all our sponsors who donated generously to make as record breaking, and everyone who attended, bought a ticket, entered the raffle or just had a sip of the Oxjam Ale: this award is for you. We'll see you next year!'.

Every penny raised at the Takeover will go directly to Oxfam UK; to projects that include combatting the spread of Ebola in West Africa; providing humanitarian relief for refugees from the Syrian crisis; as well as programmes to tackle poverty in the UK.