Royston households enjoy town’s first online family festival

PUBLISHED: 15:56 05 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:57 05 August 2020

Royston Family Festival @ Home - A collage of many of those taking part. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - A collage of many of those taking part. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Archant

Coronavirus restrictions didn’t stop Royston from attending a community event at the weekend – albeit online – as a new charity brought the festival spirit into homes.

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Ophelia Hall's duffins. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Ophelia Hall's duffins. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

More than 35 families tuned into Facebook or Zoom to take part in the ‘Royston Family Festival @ Home’ on Saturday evening to raise funds for Friends of Chernobyl’s Children Herts & Cambs - Royston’s new branch of the national cause.

The event, which included performances from singers, storytellers, magicians, and aerial arists, was organised by FOCC Herts & Cambs – a registered charity set up by Litlington’s Danielle Hall.

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Magician Chris Fleming. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Magician Chris Fleming. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

The charity funds and organises yearly visits for at-risk Belarusian children from disadvantaged social backgrounds to the UK, where they stay with host families for a month’s recuperative care.

The children, who take their first-time plane trips to visit, receive dental and medical attention while here, education, clothing, gifts, and fun opportunities, such as day trips to the seaside – something they’ve never seen before!

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Laura Whitford singing live outside her No.3 Royston craft shop. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Laura Whitford singing live outside her No.3 Royston craft shop. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

The Herts & Cambs group were due to host 14 children from seven to twelve years of age in June, but COVID-19 soon put a halt to their plans. As well as having to postpone the visit, all of the group’s fundraising plans also had to be shelved.

Danielle said, “Thank you so much to all of the acts who donated their time freely to make such a fantastic event a reality. We are hugely grateful to all the people who supported us and helped us to raise money for our charity to help our group of children in Belarus”.

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Jessica Stamford enjoying The Flight Lab pole dancing. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Jessica Stamford enjoying The Flight Lab pole dancing. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

“Being involved in this fun event has been a pleasure,” said fundraising manager Christine Brown.

“We have some amazingly talented people in Royston and further afield who gave their time for free to perform. A very big thank you to all of them and the people who watched the evening from their homes and gardens. Watch this space for our next event!”

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Making duffins with Kelly's Kitchen. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Making duffins with Kelly's Kitchen. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Charity secretary, Jane Wallington – who managed the acts – said; “It really was a huge success and we just loved seeing the smiles on everyone’s faces – it made all of the organising worthwhile! Thank you to our show sponsors -local marketing agency, C4B Media, who designed our beautiful branding.

“I’d also like to say a special thanks to performers who gave up their time to share their talents, and also to the businesses, such as Tesco and Melissa at The Be Beautiful Studio – who donated items for the Festival packs (collated by Helen Dunlop) which also enabled us to raise more money for our charity.

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Girls at The Flight Lab. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Girls at The Flight Lab. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

It’s looking like the online event raised more than £300, but there are also donations from JustGiving to add.”

Among the acts were Kelly Da Silva Fernandes from Kelly’s Kitchen, Storyteller and singer -Alex Jones, magician - Chris Fleming, Nettle the Bubble Fairy from Girlguiding Royston, Alexandra James from Starlight Stars, The At Home Impro Show with Oliver Senton & Lucy Trodd, music from soprano Hannah Theobald, pole and hoop displays from The Flight Lab, music from No.3’s Laura Whitford, The Lane Academy’s – Vanessa Cross and more music from Robbie Darin.

Royston Family Festival @ Home -  Alex Tanton with his creations. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Alex Tanton with his creations. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Kelly’s Kitchen kicked off the event with a live Duffins Bake-a-long competition – which was won by Clara Green.

To find out more about Friends of Chernobyl’s Children Herts & Cambs, you can follow them on their Facebook page or email focc.herts@gmail.com.

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Hannah Strachan's duffins. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Hannah Strachan's duffins. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Poppy Dunlop. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Poppy Dunlop. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Teddy Stanford. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Teddy Stanford. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Storyteller and singer Alex Jones. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Storyteller and singer Alex Jones. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Poppy and Rebecca with their duffins. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Poppy and Rebecca with their duffins. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Clara Green, winner of the 'duffin' competition. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Clara Green, winner of the 'duffin' competition. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

Royston Family Festival @ Home - Alex from Starlight Stars. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & CambsRoyston Family Festival @ Home - Alex from Starlight Stars. Picture: Courtesy of FOCC Herts & Cambs

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