[Article written by Natalie Ratner, Senior Community Organiser on the Place Based Social Action Project]
When I talk to people about their communities, one thing that is mentioned over and over is the lack of things for young people to do. Emma Nicholl, a long time Pellon resident, was one such person and being a big fan of Halloween, decided she would like to organise a Halloween party for the community. Not long after I met Emma, I was put in touch with Julie Jackson who had recently worked with Yorkshire Housing to start Pellon’s first community garden at the top of Rye Lane. After some successful events already, she also wanted to provide a Halloween event for the community.
Together we organised the Pelloween community event in just a month with the help and support from volunteers across Pellon and staff from Yorkshire Housing and North Halifax Partnership (NHP). We were keen to offer the event for free to be inclusive of everyone. We were able to do with this with a successful ward forum grant bid and funding from the Place Based Social Action Project.
This was an ideal opportunity to showcase some of the fantastic community venues in Pellon such as the Pellon Community Garden which is already proving its value in being an accessible outdoor space with huge potential for the future; and St. Columba’s Church Hall, a bright and welcoming space which is well equipped for events and meetings. I really enjoyed chatting with people about how Pellon used to be and how we can bring back some of the community spirit that used to be here.
Up at the community garden, there was a variety of stalls where you could get a glitter tattoo, balloon models, sweets and candy floss, Asian food, and much more. A face painter was there to paint children’s faces for free as well as the incredible birds of prey which you could hold for a donation.
Down at St. Columba’s Hall, everyone enjoyed the buffet kindly provided by Julie and family for the cost of ingredients – there was a queue for the burgers and hot dogs! The children enjoyed a fascinating bug show where they met all manner of bugs and beasties. There was also a craft table and prizes for the best dressed in three age ranges and the best dressed adults.
Julie J said ‘Without the volunteers who gave up their time to help, including our amazing young helpers (shout out to Louie who arrived at 09 30am to help!) this wouldn’t have happened. It was wonderful to see kids and adults alike enjoying themselves. Looking forward to hopefully coming together to hold many more events in the future. Thanks also for loaning us some wonderful decorations to help fill the garden area, Paul Tait.
The feedback we received made all the hard work worthwhile. Many people asked us to make this a regular event and to organise more events with children in mind, with lots of offers for help next time. Here is some of the feedback we received:
Thank you for today my kids have loved it
Thank you for having us. My boys have had a great day It’s been lovely watching all the children get together playing & having fun!! The smiles on all the little ones faces today was priceless 😀
I’m pleased it went so well, I had a lovely time
Thank you for today! Was an amazing event and a much needed one in our area! The kids and adults loved it!! Hope to see more events upcoming!!
We are truly grateful for all you did and more. Our two were so so happy and loved it
‘I’m so pleased it went so well, I had a lovely time and hope the kiddies (and adults weren’t too grossed out at putting their hand in the Trick or Treat Scare box) I’m looking forward to our next event.
Pelloween! Was good to get out and about and the kids bloody loved it!!
Loved the bugs! Kids really enjoyed it all – thank you x
Enjoyed the birds and creatures
I was forced to go but it was good
The kids really enjoyed
Excellent for the community
Everything and everyone was amazing so much to do
Son really enjoyed the day. Thank you
Thank you again to everyone who helped or came along to make it such a great community event!
Emma Nicholl would also like to give thanks to all the volunteers for their help!