Panel choose stalls for the first Pink Gift Fair

Alex Jenkins, Helena Bakunowicz from Brewin Dolphin, Sharon Gardner, Sally Pavey, Kim Kelly and Lisa Davidson Volunteer Fair Organisers
Alex Jenkins, Helena Bakunowicz from Brewin Dolphin, Sharon Gardner, Sally Pavey, Kim Kelly and Lisa Davidson Volunteer Fair Organisers

An independent panel of selectors recently came together to pick the stalls for the very first Pink Gift Fair in aid of Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity and Cancer Research.

The fair will not take place until September 30 at Roffey Park, but to ensure that the stalls are truly diverse offering wonderful, unusual and inspiring items, they have to be selected early.

Sponsors of the fair, Brewin Dolphin’s Helena Bakunowicz, Alex Jenkins - editor of ETC Magazine, supporting publication, and Lisa Davidson - an interior designer and retail buyer, had the job of selecting the stalls.

“It took us hours to decide as each application had to be read, website researched and products considered as we wanted to ensure that there will be something for everyone when they attend the fair,” said Lisa Davidson who is also party to organising and styling the fair.

Volunteer organisers Sally Pavey and Sharon Gardner were able to take a back seat and allow the selectors to go through all the applicants for each of the eight categories.

“For a first event we have been overwhelmed and delighted that so many companies had applied,” said Sally. “When you are looking for something different, you just hope that companies apply that truly fulfil this desire, and we have not been disappointed as volunteer organisers,”

Helena of Brewin Dolphin had not participated in such a selection before as her day-to-day role as an investment manager did not involve product selection, but found the whole process really interesting and fun. “It has been a real opportunity to see what the local area has to offer as well as the diversity of products within the UK. It has been really difficult to choose in the selection process as the quality was so high.”

Editor Alex Jenkins, who has worked with Sally previously whilst staging events including charity fashion shows, felt applicants were very diverse and the sort of local companies that interest her for stories.

Sharon Gardner, one of the volunteers organising team, said:“Home was definitely a strong category which delighted my shopping habits.

“As well as the number of food and drink companies that have applied, something that interests more and more people as they look and appreciate home grown foods.”

It is now down to the treasurer of the fair, Kim Kelly, and her team at Employment Plus to write to all that applied and let them know if they were selected or not. “It is sad to decline so many but I believe we have a good mix of companies selected but we would’ve loved to invite them all.”

The next job for volunteer Sally is to allocate all the stalls into the modern indoor setting of Roffey Park which enjoys views across the Downs.

Fair preview tickets go on sale from the end of August, with fair days on Saturday October 1 and Sunday October 2. Each stallholder will donate 10% of takings, and along with all other money raised, it will be split between the two chosen charities.

You can register now to receive details by visiting the website www.pinkgiftfair.org.uk