BBC Films Delivery of Avon Valley Churches 1,000 Easter in a Bags!

    Diocesan News
    2 April 2021

    This week 1,000 craft and gift-filled ‘Easter in a Bags’ were sent out to preschools, nurseries, schools, home school groups and individuals in the Fordingbridge area by a 50-strong team of volunteers at Avon Valley Churches. Some were requested nationally and even internationally after a social media post went viral! Hearing of this good news, BBC South Today came to film the vast ocean of bags which filled St Mary’s Hall in Fordingbridge whilst finishing touches were added. Reporter Michele Cross interviewed Canon Gary Philbrick, Jo Heath and some of the volunteers, who have all been working hard to make this project happen, then accompanied a crew of drivers to deliver some of the bags to Fordingbridge Infant and Junior School. The BBC News item was aired 3 times today.

    The AVC team are so grateful to see their outreach projects recognised in this way, as well as those who have worked hard on all our lockdown outreach projects - Half Term & Christmas in a Bag, Cupcakes to Care Homes and Children, Easter in a Bag and, in partnership with The Cottage Loaf in Fordingbridge, even Hundreds of Hot Cross Buns to The Burgate School and Sixth Form which are being delivered on Maundy Thursday.

    These outreach projects, which have also been purposefully planned to include and boost local businesses, have been funded by generous individuals within the Benefice through the AVP Youth & Community Trust. AVC’s Youth, Children and Families Development Worker, Jo Heath, who masterminded and coordinated a team of dedicated volunteers to make each project happen, said:

    It has been a privilege to join together to prepare Easter in a Bag. A huge thank you to Gail in the office and the amazing team of volunteer helpers and drivers. We could not have done it without their commitment, enthusiasm and encouragement. It is our pleasure to offer these gifts to many of our local children and home educating families and we are delighted to invite them to join with us to celebrate this time of year in spite of the restrictions still in place.”

    AVC is grateful to Gail Newell and Jackie Rowe, all our volunteers and drivers, First Response Training in Christchurch, 10th Christchurch (Mudeford) Sea Scouts, Christchurch Scouting and Sirius Business Services Ltd for donating bandages, Lidl GB for the Fairtrade Foundation chocolate lollipops, and Rainforest Alliance eggs, Jan Brian and Mary Adams for recycling all the cardboard and plastic and Allsorts Emporium in Fordingbridge for the last minute dash for glitter glue! Not forgetting the wonderful Jo Heath who has masterminded and coordinated all of the projects which have received such amazing responses. And of course thank you to BBC South Today - we very are excited to share our good news clip which accompanies this Press Release.

    Reflecting on a year of Covid, Avon Valley Churches Canon Gary Philbrick said: “Whichever road each one of us has been on, this year is going to take a long while to process – we need to be kind to ourselves and those around us, to support others and to ask for help ourselves if we need it."