Park residents fuel their minibus appeal with grand gala
Fundraising at The Elms retirement park in Lincolnshire was in top gear recently when residents held a highly successful gala day to support their minibus appeal.
Organisers went into overdrive with a line-up of attractions ranging from a mobile zoo to free farm food tastings plus competitions and a series of fun challenges.
And when the brakes were finally put on the day, residents were delighted to find that they had raised over £1,200 to fuel their minibus fund.
It means that homeowners at The Elms in Torksey can now continue looking forward to regular outings, expeditions and shopping trips using their own dedicated transport.
Planning the gala day and putting it into action were members of the park's 14-strong minibus fundraising committee, some of whom also work as volunteer drivers of the vehicle.
Residents at The Elms bought their first minibus almost 20 years ago with a view to gaining even greater freedom and flexibility for those wanting to get out and about.
Replacement vehicles and running costs are funded entirely by money raised through various events, and by donations from the family-run park business.
The residents' current minibus was acquired two years ago, and is the largest to date with a capacity to carry up to 16 passengers on their regular forays from the park.
Tracey Coulson, a director of The Elms and a member of the park-owning Kinch family, said the minibus was a real asset to residents of the 340 homes on the park:
"There is a fantastic community atmosphere here, and the minibus is a great way for people to explore the surrounding area, visit attractions, and take shopping trips together," she said.
"It also plays an important part in the social life of many residents by ensuring that there are plenty of regular opportunities for people to meet up and share new experiences.
"We were delighted to supply marquees for the gala day which drew hundreds of guests including residents' friends and relations as well as members of the local community," Tracey added.
Tracey and her colleague Emma added to the fun by creating a pop-up photo booth in which residents could be pictured with a variety of props and disguises.
As well as the mobile zoo which included a python, bearded dragon lizard, owl and a giant snail, the gala day offered cake and wine stands, a tombola and a silent auction.
The Elms has been under the Kinch family's ownership for over 35 years, and its park homes for people aged 50-plus are located in 65 acres of landscaped grounds.
There is more information about the park on its website at www.elmsretirementpark.co.uk.