Big Idea event is hailed big success

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A community event held in Cotmanhay over the bank holiday weekend has been hailed a success after hundreds of people turned out.

The Big Idea was organised by Leonnie and Chris Mangan, who volunteer at The Arena Church on Rutland Street.

It included a huge range of events made possible with the help of 120 volunteers, with funds going back into the community.

The main event took place on Saturday when more than 300 people turned up to Beauvale Drive playing fields.

Amongst the many activities taking place were face painting, a balloon race, arts and circus skills.

Leonnie said: “I just loved it. We provided a free picnic and 200 children swarmed over bread, jam and crisps, it was a really lovely sight. The day ended with a balloon race and a church service.

“The response from teenagers was great and they said it was great to have something to do. It was something for them to focus on.

“We also sent teams into local houses in Cotmanhay and Ilkeston, and did residents’ gardens and decorated their houses.

“We also did DIY projects and litter picking.

“There was a sports element to the day and we had support from Derby County as well.”

“On Friday night we had a Big Idea pampering night. That went really well and 120 teenage girls turned up. We also had live solo singing and a football tournament “

This was the third year The Big Idea has been held.

Leonnie added: “We’ve had a lot of support from local businesses particularly Bellinis, Tesco, Ikea and Aldi.”

Funds raised will go directly back into the Cotmanhay Community Project, such as the food bank and furniture bank. Though a figure has not been confirmed as yet.

Leonnie added: “We are trying to make a difference in the local community.”