In the early hours of Saturday 28th September, S/Ms Karl Webb and Pete Aston set up a stall in Huntingdon Town Centre for a day of fundraising. This was the first time our new gazebo, chairs, and RNA pop-up banner had been used, but looking at it all decorated, I think we have spent wisely.
So with the sun rising, Pete and Karl donned jackets and awaited the town to wake up.
With two RN Ensigns flowing, our stall was easy to spot as people approached Market Square.
During the day S/M Hilary Meers and her mum, Barbara, came to support Pete and Karl, and ordered us some hot drinks and a snack. Later in the day, our President, S/M Graham Holt and S/M Dawn Holt arrived; after an inspection, a seal of approval, and a generous donation from Graham, we took the opportunity for a quick photo call.
As we were in Huntingdon town centre, we used the day to try and encourage locals with links to the RN to join the branch. We took a number of names of those expressing an interest in the RNA; all we need to do now is wait and see if our numbers will increase.
We were really impressed with the support, and words of encouragement, from local residents and visitors; after a few hours, we needed to swap our full donation tins for some empty ones.
As more people chatted with us about their time in the forces, we continued giving out RNA stickers (made by Pete) and some gizits from RNA HQ; a great hit with the kids.
It was a long day, but if we have managed to inform people of the role played by the RNA, the support branches give to local communities, and raising funds for military charities, then we have been successful.
By 1600, S/Ms Pete Aston and Karl Webb decided to call it a day, mainly due to the regular market stalls being taken down, but also because we had been here for nearly 9 hours! The last thing to do was to take down the ensign…no Sunset party, but maybe next time!