Shoppers enjoyed the wares of over 90 different stall holders, selling goods from stocking fillers, games and toys to luxury clothing, exquisite jewellery, home furnishings and fine foods. One of the highlights of the Fair was Jimmy Doherty, star of BBC TV's Jimmy's Farming Heroes, who dropped in to sign copies of his latest book at the Jimmy's Farm stall which sold Jimmy's range of rare-breed sausages.
Organisers estimate that the Fair made a surplus of over £54,000, which will be distributed among eight local charities, including the Stars Appeal's Caring 4 Kids campaign at Salisbury District Hospital, The Philip Green Memorial School, Julia's House and Leukaemia Busters.
Plans are already being made for the 2009 fair, which will continue with one important change. The existing committee, chaired by Jennie Sherborne MBE, is retiring after 20 years. A new voluntary committee will take up the reins, raising funds for the Salisbury District Hospital Stars Appeal.
Jennie Sherborne, Rockbourne Fair Committee Chair said: "After all the work that has gone into building up the Fair we didn't want to see it fizzle out. We are therefore delighted the Stars Appeal's volunteers are taking on the baton from us. I know that they are all determined, with the support of the outgoing committee, to make a very smooth transition to maintain the aims and principles that have been built up over the years"
Jennie added: "The Stars Appeal seems such a fitting cause to benefit as the Fair has always been keen to support charities that focus on the health of children. I have seen at first hand the difference that the work of the Appeal makes to local people being treated at the Hospital, and their new Caring 4 Kids campaign will benefit many thousands of local children. It is a cause very close to my heart and those of all my committee."
Lisa Stratton, Chair of the Stars Appeal said: "We are indebted to Jennie and her committee for giving us this unique opportunity to carry on their hugely popular event. The funds raised will make a real difference to local children by helping us towards our Caring 4 Kids campaign. We look forward to welcoming the existing committee to next year's fair as they take a well earned rest from the organising of the Fair and come along to enjoy the shopping."
Jennie Sherborne will continue to be involved, as she has been asked by Stars Appeal President, the Earl of Pembroke, to become Honorary President of the Fair. Ends
Notes to editors:
The Stars Appeal raises money to create the best possible experience for the 300,000 people who rely on Salisbury District Hospital. It funds extra care and equipment over and above that provided by the NHS. The Appeal benefits all wards and departments. It also raises money for major projects. In 2007, thanks to the generous support of the local community, the Appeal funded advanced equipment for premature and critically ill babies and an advanced keyhole cancer surgery suite.
The Stars Appeal now faces its biggest challenge to date. The Caring 4 Kids campaign is raising £1million to help create a state-of-the-art children's centre at the Hospital which will treat over 6,000 children each year. The Caring 4 Kids campaign will fund a range of additional facilities and equipment within the centre including parents' accommodation, dedicated long-stay rooms for children with serious illnesses, indoor and outdoor play areas and a multi-sensory room for children with disabilities. The Caring 4 Kids campaign will also fund high-tech equipment for diagnosis and treatment.
For further information please contact:
Dave Cates, The Stars Appeal, Salisbury District Hospital. Tel: 01722 429005.