Plea to businesses to back Big Idea weekend of events

Arena Church
Arena Church

Plans are in full swing for this year’s Big Idea event organised by Ilkeston’s Arena Church.

The annual fun fest consists of a whole host of activities put on and paid for by the community church for local people to enjoy.

Lisa Harrison, community manager at Arena, said: “The event seems to get bigger by the year.

“This year we have a kids’ fun day at Beauvale Drive Park and five-a-side football, a girly pamper night, our community garden is serving up cream teas and we have the big night out as well as a community service the following day.”

Activities will run across an entire weekend in early June, spreading the fun over three days.

Lisa explained: “Although we serve the community day in and day out with our services like the food bank and the lunches we serve up, this is another way of getting out there and letting people know we are here.

“There are loads of kids in the area whose parents can’t afford to take them to a theme park for the day, they have never been to the fair. Well, the fun day which is all completely free is for them to enjoy.

“It’s all about bringing everyone together and seeing people enjoy themselves.”

But the event comes at a cost — this year’s total is looking like it will top £1,600.

Lisa said: “We have to find the money for this and that’s where local businesses can help.

“We arrange and organise everything, anyone interested in financially supporting the event only has to put their hand in their pocket, the rest is done for them.

“Donations of any size are always well received and it doesn’t just have to be cash, prizes, people’s time, anything helps us however small.”

New to this year’s jam packed programme is the opening up of the community garden project.

Flourish, is based on Heanor Road and completely looked after by volunteers.

Project leader Cat Bullen explained: “Our event will be by invite only but it still has the same aims as the Big Idea as a whole.

“We will be inviting residents form Rutland Manor Care home as well as United Response, which provides care for adults in need, to come down to the garden, have a cream tea and see what it is that we do here.”