Armed Forces Day in Cleethorpes actually took a whole weekend, was well organised and ultimately was attended by over 100,000 people. Saturday was dedicated to armed forces in general and Sunday to the Air Force 100 anniversary. The whole weekend closed with a brilliant display by the Red Arrows who left a final image of the number 100 made in smoke in the sky over the pier.
VANEL and the IGNITE team had a stand down Seaview Street where the local shop owners were friendly and welcoming. Bars opened their toilets to stall owners to use without having to purchase drinks or food – which was a really appreciated gesture.
We had a very environmental theme on our stand including a very popular quiz on the length of time different products / materials take to break down in the ocean or on land. This created a lot of indepth interesting discussion with people of all ages, with many amazed at the actual time scales and the whole exercise got many people thinking. Hopefully many also went away to put into action some of the information they received to help our environment, prevent a few blocked drains and generally prevent some waste going to landfill.
We had a demonstration bottles showing a whirlpool toilet flush to act as a discussion focus and these were well received. The point of these was to demonstrate how a wet wipe can jam the bottle without even reaching the hole. Simply by stopping air flow caused a blockage and this whole demonstration allowed us to start up a range of discussion on the topic of toilet and sink blockages. The amount of gory stories on the effect of mums and daughters with long hair and plug holes and bath drains was immense and over lunchtime a little off-putting. All of which could be easily solved with a plug cover! If the discussions on our environmental themes made anyone think more carefully about what they flushed then we’ve made our impact!
The IGNITE team and our volunteers made the event enjoyable for themselves by singing and dancing along to the bag pipes and other entertainment that could be heard and sometimes seen from the stand and thanks goes particularly to those volunteers who came along over the weekend to help the staff team. We spent a lot of time talking to people about volunteering too and about younger people getting involved with volunteering in particular.
The team, when “off duty” had time to go circulate and enjoy the rest of the event, watch the parade and observe the displays such as the lancers on horseback and air displays. Firework displays were enjoyed in an evening and then the Saturday saw the attempt on the beach for the world record number of sandcastles built in an hour. Many families and adults joined in on this activity, but unfortunately, despite the large number of castles built, they didn’t all pass scrutiny at the end of the hour for the record books to include them in the count. But it was a fantastic extra activity and much amusement for young people later in the day running around between and over the area of sandcastles.
The weather was great for the event, the crowds were huge, there was plenty going on and the whole weekend was an amazing celebration of our Armed Forces and a great showcase for Cleethorpes at the same time. Our VANEL and IGNITE team had a great event and we’re pleased we managed to reach so many people in our time there.
If you’d like to talk to IGNITE about volunteering, social action projects or about our environmental projects then please just get in touch