11 Sep 2020 Community
Community unite at the first ever Kirkheaton Scarecrow Trail
On a very wet and rainy Saturday back in August, many local families descended on the vibrant village of Kirkheaton to take part in their first ever Scarecrow Trail. The village-wide festival was a huge success for everyone involved and raised a staggering £2,211 for Kirkwood.
On a cold rainy lockdown day earlier this year, Jayne Oldmeadow and her partner Carl Crossley got their thinking caps on to create a new fundraiser for their fellow Kirkheaton community to get involved in over the summer.
The village had just seen a huge community effort to raise money for their local hospices, Kirkwood and Forget Me Not, by organising a raffle and coin collection at their local corner shop. This prompted Jayne and Carl to build on the wonderful spirit they had witnessed throughout lockdown and decided to host the village’s very first Scarecrow Trail.
Jayne, who owns Kirkheaton Podiatry, said: “We hold Kirkwood very dearly in our hearts in Kirkheaton, with us being almost neighbours to you. I was thinking of something to do that would enhance people’s walks, as lots of us were doing a lot more walking because of lockdown. We came up with the Scarecrow Trail because we could do it socially distanced, it wouldn’t need to be too interactive.
Jayne Oldmeadow and her partner, Carl, at the Scarecrow Trail cheque presentation
“We were thinking that people could make a scarecrow and pop it up in their gardens for others as they walked through the village. We wanted to build on the community spirit that seemed to be really getting going and everyone really got behind it to make it the great event that it was."
Jayne and the residents of Kirkheaton got to work with months of preparation ahead of them to ensure the village was ready for the big event on Saturday 22nd August.
On the day, 51 houses showcased their masterpieces to hundreds of families from Kirkheaton and surrounding areas. From The Queen, to Harry Potter to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, an amazing range of designs were created and scarecrows were on show on every street in Kirkheaton for everyone to enjoy.
And after much discussion from the locals, the Tandy family, with their amazing creation of Pinocchio, was crowned the winner. Congratulations!
“It was a really busy day,” Jayne said. “The weather was appalling, we had really heavy showers all day but that didn’t stop anyone. People just kept coming. We sold maps and quizzes from the Kirkheaton Community Centre and had a last-minute raffle with lots of items donated by villagers.”
Jayne hosted a tombola at the Community Centre to boost funds on the day and local supporters Jackie and Andrew raffled a one-of-a-kind Huddersfield Town scarecrow to add to the amazing total.
“There was a real happy buzz around the village, even in the week leading up to it. Facebook was going crazy with people panicking, asking for spare straw and extra bits and pieces for props. It created a really nice community feel to the village.
“The day had a real family feel to it, because everyone could do it socially distanced, we had big groups of families going round together, grandparents joining mums and dads with their children. People were coming back to the Community Centre and saying thank you for creating a buzz in the village again.”
The Trail was such a hit with the locals that Jayne didn’t think twice about penciling in a date for 2021. Jayne added: “Everyone is really up for it next year. We have seen what can be achieved and I’ve already got a few people telling me they’ve got bigger and better ideas for next year. We’re thinking of making it a two-day event so watch this space!”
Jayne and Carl at the Scarecrow Trail
Kirkwood Community Fundraiser, Julia Owen, was delighted to work with the Kirkheaton community again. Julia said: “It’s so wonderful to see a lovely village like Kirkheaton come together throughout such a difficult time for us all, and knowing their community spirit will live on through the many more months of uncertainty we have to come is heartwarming.
“At Kirkwood, our teams have quickly adapted over the last few months to make sure our patients and their families continue getting the same level of support throughout the pandemic. With many of our events being cancelled, it has hit our fundraising efforts really hard. Thank you so much to everyone involved with the Scarecrow Trail, I can’t wait to see what next year brings!”
Jayne at the whole team at Kirkwood would like to extend their thanks to Kirkheaton Pre-School for their kind donation and help selling raffle tickets, Jackie and Andrew and a huge thank you to the village of Kirkheaton for their ongoing support.
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