A warm welcome from Wick Care Farm, whatever the weather.

Rain, glorious rain!

Without rain our beautiful Worcestershire countryside would not be the green and pleasant land we know and love. We don our wellies and waterproof clothing and carry on with our normal day to day routine of tending to the animals and harvesting our well-watered vegetables for lunch. On Thursday 21st November 2019, just over a week before our Christmas Market, the rain and I were not such happy companions. The water table was already up and as more rain fell our ducks became happier and I became increasingly more nervous. I looked at the field we had prepared to use as a car park for our Christmas Market and realised that it was suitable for hovercraft but not for vehicles with wheels. We were not expecting any hovercraft at our event. We were, however, expecting more cars than we could accommodate on the available concrete. Oh dear, what do we do now?

Where could we offer as alternative car parking? Wick village does not have a car park. The nearest available actual car park is at Pershore College. It was a longshot but what else could I do… I decided to approach the college and at the same time to ask Pershore volunteer centre if they could provide a minibus and driver. At Pershore college every member of staff who heard of my plight greeted me with sympathy and encouragement. Unfortunately, my timing was the problem as the college had two events of their own on the same day so were willing but unable to accommodate us. The 14 local artisan stallholders were on tenterhooks waiting for the final decision. Was the event on or would we be forced to cancel?

The volunteer centre minibus does not usually operate at weekends. They kindly sent an email to all of their qualified drivers. Great news! A wonderful gentleman by the name of Ian agreed to kindly give up his Saturday to help us out by ferrying those visitors who had to park further afield. The decision was made, the event was on, but would people attend on a soggy Saturday in November?

Our huge team of amazing volunteers were not put off by the prospect of spending their Saturday sloshing around a muddy farmyard in their wellies, in fact quite the opposite, they enlisted additional family members to help us out. The scene was set. Santa was ready, the stallholders had set up a display of goods that would put Harrods to shame, the café was crammed with home-made cakes, soups and tasty treats, the brazier was lit for the mulled apple juice, and the band began to play. The car parking team were briefed and kitted out in high vis jackets (with walkie talkies kindly loaned by a generous young man).

And people arrived!  It was very heart-warming to see so many people supporting this event. We were delighted to greet so many old friends and to welcome lots of new faces to Wick Care Farm. The rain held off for the entire event and I did not hear a single grumble about the inevitable muddy surroundings. We made a total of £1532.80 which will be used to improve the facilities and activities on offer to our groups. Thank you to everyone who supported this event by coming to help, to spend your time and money with us, or simply by coping with the additional traffic without complaint. We look forward to offering you all a warm welcome our next event on Saturday April 25th 2020.

 Jo Ballin

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