What an incredible journey The People’s Millions has been for Active Arts and our supporters. Our team expanded as we gained momentum on the campaign and over the last few days, especially vote day, the support was incredible.
The excitement and energy could be felt across the estate as people we didn’t know came to support and friends from other groups and organisations joined forces with us to help something incredible happen.
When the phone call came this morning that we needed to stealthily organise ourselves for filming and that we’d find out if we’d won while filming, the reality started to hit home that maybe we’d achieved what we so wanted. Incredibly the estate and our extended friends across the UK made our dream come true and then even more incredibly everyone kept it secret until the news broke on ITV’s Central News tonight. After flooding Facebook and Twitter yesterday we suddenly went radio silent today to help keep the surprise until 6.15pm!
We’ve been more than aware that individuals in our support team have had to face some difficult challenges in life the last few weeks, there’s also the continued financial challenges that people on the estate are currently facing and then just last week the Astral Centre had it’s fire. But as Julie O’Hare said today, we then harnessed all our energy into something positive, bringing us together and look what we’ve achieved.
I have such pride in the people of the estate and our supporters. I have such admiration for those who’ve given so much energy into the campaign, not only the trustees and the Steering Group but our extended team.
I hope to not miss anyone off but particularly I want to say thank you to the Trustees, the Steering Group members, 2005 Group, Youngstars, Phab, TRA, NPB, all CVCRS staff, all CVCHA staff, the 234 Castle Vale Spitfire Beavers Cubs Scouts & Explorers, Tiggywinkles Nurseries, Castle Vale Nursery & Children’s Centre, Chivenor School, Pegasus School, Topcliffe School, St Gerard’s School, Greenwood Academy, our local councillors, St Cuthbert’s Church, the Monday Club, Home Start, Vale Stadium, Sainsbury’s Castle Vale and all the people who passed on our requests for support and then asked the same of people they know.
A special thank you to Laura Hicklin who gave an incredible amount of time getting support on social media, made us a great countdown trailer, helped put up publicity and then a few days later started at 7.30am to put out more and get the number out as well as inspiring many others to get involved and vote.
Also thank you’s to: Sheila Arthurs and her Knits and Pieces team for the inspirational caterpillars who are the real stars of the campaign; Jan Davies, Sue Spicer and Helen Webley for being there throughout on the campaign; Wendy Stokes for getting local and extended community on board; Becki Bembridge, Tracey Barrington, Carla Belle, Ruth Miller, Shaun Morroll, Laura Jones-Hallett & Hannah Pryce behind the scenes and helping to get the word out into their organisations and wider; Brian Cragg for letting us twist his arm to be part of the ITV film and keeping us focussed on the task; Lamidi Aminu for being part of the final day push and his encouraging words; Sheila Hyland for support and getting the baby in shot!; Youngstars especially Luke McLean, James O’Hare, Amy Caddick and Jennie Withnall for seeing the potential and putting their energy behind it; Sallyann Rose who stepped into the film and helped spread the message; Pete Richmond (CVCHA) and Ray Goodwin (TRA) for the organisational support; Clive Edwards and Tyburn Mail for the coverage and helping to convey our story; and not least Trevor Evans and J Davies as two trustees who had lots of other things to contend with but would respond to my mad ideas with yes’s and feedback.
Plus everyone not mentioned that turned out for the film, gave their time, passed on the word and gave their many 15p’s to help bring £50,000 to Castle Vale.
This is The Butterfly Effect in action. You wanted to know what it was, well this was the start.