For the past three years, it has been a common date in the diary for Paul Simson of St. Wilfrid's Lodge No8350, and his wife Denise to host a summer garden party and afternoon tea at their home in Market Harborough. The event is always well supported, with monies being raised for the Leicestershire & Rutland 2022 Festival.
This year has been a different and challenging year for everyone, however, Paul and Denise's determination won the day, as they planned and held the event, but with a lockdown twist. The garden party continued despite the lockdown, in the form of a virtual event. Paul & Denise decided to offer to make and deliver afternoon teas to the members of the Lodge and hold the summer garden party using an online video calling facility, with everyone remaining in their own homes.
Paul & Denise were ably assisted by Cliff & Ann Hollingsworth, making almost 100 sandwiches with four different fillings. Ann also made an assortment of magnificent Victoria Sponges. Denise made the Coffee & walnut cake and Paul made the Chocolate Brownies. The Afternoon Teas also included crisps, Scones, butter, strawberry jam and clotted cream together with a Tea Bag and napkin.
The Afternoon Teas were then delivered by Paul & Denise, Cliff & Ann and Mark & Felicity Peberdy. The feedback on the virtual meeting was extremely positive and the teas were enjoyed by all. Members who were unable to order an afternoon tea were very generous in making a donation.
The virtual meeting also included a raffle with prizes donated by the members, and several rounds of the popular Light Blue Club quiz which has been hosted by Dennis Crommentuijn over the last few months, of which Paul & Denise have been regular attendees.
In total, almost £400 has been raised for the Leicestershire & Rutland 2022 Festival.
However, it is hoped that next year will see a return to the successful traditional Summer Garden Party in Paul & Denise garden!