Chichester fun day raises funds for vulnerable children

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Around 2,000 people filled Graylingwell Park for a fun day which helped to raise funds for local scout groups and a Chichester-based charity.

The Summer Garden Party and Children’s Day is in its second year but this time round the scouts got involved with the aim of boosting their ranks and raising funds for their activities.

More than £3,500 was raised for Children on the Edge, which helps the most marginalised and vulnerable children around the world.

Linden Homes, which owns the site, gave permission for organisers Matrix to use Havenstoke Park at Graylingwell Park, off Connolly Way Chichester. Inflatable slides and bouncy castles were also donated by Linden Homes.

Brian Adcock, event organiser from Matrix, said: “We held a summer party last August, but the weather was quite bad. We decided we wanted to be part of the Chichester Festivities so we got in touch with scouts, who were looking for a new event.

“Before then the scouts held their children’s day for about 20 years.”

Much amusement was provided by the group of dogs and their owners, who entered them in a fun dog show.

Crowds watched from haystack seating as the pets competed in several competition categories such as prettiest bitch, a sausage-throwing competition and the dog which looks most like its owner – which definitely provoked a few laughs. Children could also go zorbing –rolling around the park safely in a plastic orb.

Group scout leader for the 2nd Tangmere Scout Group Mike Nation said: “We wanted to raise funds and hopefully see if any other kids were interested in scouting.

“It has always been about raising the profile within Chichester and about encouraging scouting from the young beavers right up to the scouts.”

Mr Nation said it poured down with rain at the scouts’ last fair in Tangmere two weeks ago and the summer garden party would help raise vital cash for the day-to-day running of the group’s activities.

He added: “Scouting is a charity. We don’t get money from anywhere else and our leaders do not get paid. Some of them put quite a lot of time in.”

The Tangmere scouts started in 2007 and now have 50 members.