Birches Head Get Growing (BHGG) is celebrating the success of its inaugural ‘Free-for-All
Christmas Community Exchange Extravaganza!’, which saw local dignitaries and 150 members
of the public enjoy a day of family fun, free gifts and friendly advice at The Bridge Centre.
The BHGG team was on hand throughout the day to deliver exciting activities, food, selection
boxes, clothes and essential items to those struggling with the cost of living. The event, which
took place on Saturday 29 October, marked the start of a two-month campaign that aims to
support local individuals and families with unmet needs.
The Free-for-All was attended by Jo Gideon, Member of Parliament for Stoke-on-Trent Central,
Councillor Faisal Hussain, the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, and a range of other community
leaders from Birches Head and its surrounding areas.
Paula Rowcliffe, Chairperson of BHGG, said: “We were delighted with the turnout at our first
ever community Free-for-All, and it was fantastic to connect with so many wonderful people
who are eager to make positive contributions to our local community. We were also grateful to
Jo Gideon MP and the Lord Mayor for giving up their valuable time to join us on the day.”
“Rather than money, BHGG encourages people to offer their time and skills,” added Paula.
“Our aim is to support unmet needs within Birches Head and its surrounding community,
moving from a ‘gift model’ of support to an ‘energetic exchange’. With kindness as our
currency, everything we offer is free at the point of delivery.”
Sponsored by Foresters Financial, the BHGG team procured a variety of food and personal care
products for people struggling to buy everyday essentials. Local businesses provided a range of
‘seconds’ and sample products that were given away during the event, along with items
donated as part of BHGG’s monthly ‘Free Shop Swap Shop’. Attendees also had an opportunity
to try out a selection of wellbeing activities, such as hand massage, Tai Chi and hula hooping.
In addition to a host of stalls, refreshments, gifts, face painting and professional advice, BHGG’s
Free-for-All featured a free-to-enter raffle with 20 £25 Christmas Lunch Hampers. The lucky
winners will be able to collect their prizes on Friday 23 December, just in time for Christmas.
“Saturday’s Free-for-All marks the beginning of a two-month initiative, which will run until 31
December 2022,” Paula added. “We have plenty more exciting activities planned in the lead-up
to Christmas and throughout the festive period so, whether you need support, you’re interested in joining our team or both, please take a look at our online community pages.”
To learn more about BHGG and how you can get involved, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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