Abundance Wimbledon Newsletter
OCTOBER 31, 2022
WELCOME TO ABUNDANCE WIMBLEDON - 31st OCTOBER 2022, SEASON WRAP NEWSLETTER
The sun shone on Fruit Day this year and whilst everyone was feeling the very recent loss of our wonderful Queen Elizabeth II, there was definitely a sense of togetherness and the want to take part in our fabulous feel-good community event. People arrived in their droves to support our now very well-established annual fair (12 years this year!), so much so that we raised the most we ever have since Abundance Wimbledon’s inception in 2011. This year Fruit Day made a staggering £2,952.24, £630 more than at our 2021 edition - what an achievement!
As you well know, these types of events don’t ‘just happen’. They are months in the making and in the case of Abundance Wimbledon, the staging and success of Fruit Day is entirely reliant on the help of our marvellous volunteers. All our helpers are invaluable and we wanted to dedicate this newsletter to them, as a way of giving our most heartfelt ‘THANK YOU’ to every single person that has helped us this year. A special mention must go to our Chief Event Organizer, Bryony. This was her second year taking the lead with the preparations, and her enthusiasm and meticulous attention to detail saw the delivery of one of the most successful and enjoyable Fruit Days to date. Thank you also to our new Communications Officer, Cristina, for her help with our newsletters and the online promotion of our activity and events. Lastly, thank you to Juliet, our Founder, and ever the Fruit Day champion, for her continued contribution as Committee Chair and chief tree-planter for Abundance Wimbledon.
HOW MUCH FRUIT OVERALL?
We all love some stats, especially when we’re talking about just how much local fruit was salvaged from going to waste. They also serve to illustrate the scale of the task undertaken by our volunteers, so that their enormous efforts get the recognition they deserve.
2022 – Fruit Picked in KGS
DONATIONS TO LOCAL CHARITIES
A key part of our ethos at Abundance Wimbledon is helping our local community. We thrive on supporting a wide range of charities and community groups. We have made it our mission to help in two ways, by donating much of the fruit we collect, and by donating a large portion of the proceeds raised during our Fruit Day to local charities and initiatives.
Of the 1,797.43kgs of fruit collected this year, over 826.5Kgs was donated to the following local community groups and charities:
- Coffee in the Wood
- Commonside Community Trust
- Cranmer Primary School
- Deen City Farm
- DONS Local Action Aid
- Faith in Action
- Hall Place Temporary Accommodation
- Leisure Centre
- Merton & Morden Guild
- St Michael’s Foodbank
- St Teresa’s Nursing Home
- Sunshine Café
- Sustainable Merton Community Fridge
- Oaks Sheltered Accommodation
- Wimbledon Foodbank
- Wimbledon Guild
- Wimbledon Stables
In terms of financial assistance, we are delighted to confirm that a donation of £2000 has already been agreed by our Committee, to be shared amongst the following charities: Merton Winter Night Shelter, Wimbledon Foodbank, Merton & Morden Guild, and Faith in Action. Further donations will be decided on in early 2023 at the next Committee Meeting.
THE PICK OF THE BUNCH
Without our dedicated team of Fruit Pickers, Abundance Wimbledon’s primary aim of reducing food waste by collecting unwanted local fruit would be somewhat hampered. We are therefore VERY lucky to have such a wonderful contingent of volunteers who not only gave up their time freely to pick and transport over 1.7 tonnes of fruit, but who went above and beyond, this year particularly, by carrying out this labour during one of the hottest summers on record! An enormous THANK YOU to Dulcie, Gilli, Liz, Rosie and Ruth, for all their hard work in arranging and carrying out the numerous fruit picks across the borough of Merton, as well as to our fellow avid Pickers: Adam, Amanda, Bob, Brian, Bryony, Claire, Elizabeth, Florence, Gabriel, Gilli, Helen, Hugo, Joan, Juliet, Karoline, Lucy, Maggie, Mary-J, Michale, Rene, Sarah and Steve. We were delighted to have had new volunteers join us this year, both young and more mature, and we hope that by word of mouth, we can attract more helpers for next year and beyond.
A ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR OUR DONORS
Similarly to our Fruit Pickers, without our fabulous donors opening their doors to us to pick their abundant and hard-to-reach fruit, we would be rather stuck. Fortunately, Merton has such a fantastic and generous community that we had plenty of fruit offers, some long-standing, others new this year! We wish to thank the following donors for helping us in our mission: Alice (and her neighbour!), Andy & Mandy, Anne, Anthony, Barbara, Bob & Eileen, Brian & Gilli, Cam, Carey, Caroline, Carolyne & Oliver, Christine, Claire, Cottenham Park Allotments, Dulcie, George, Guy & Lindy, Helen & Richard, Izzie, Jacqui & John, James, Jason, Karin, Kim, Leila, Leslie G, Leyann & Thomas, Lucas, Lucy, Margaret & Bill, Margo, Martin Way Allotments, Martha, Matt, Mavis, Michael & Gaelle, Rana, Ray, Reinalt V, Ron & June, Pam, Paola, Paul & Jean, Peter & Ann, Sobhash, Stephanie, Susanna R, Tim, and Trina.
JAMS, JELLIES, CORDIALS, CHUTNEYS & MARMALADES
Without a doubt, the most popular of all the stalls were those selling a dizzying number and array of jams, jellies, cordials, marmalades and chutneys - all lovingly made by Sue, Di and their small team of jam-makers. It is estimated that some 670 jars of delectable sweet condiments and 70 bottles of cordial were hand-crafted over the course of the spring and summer months, for sale at this year’s Fruit Day. Our jam-makers therefore really do deserve a special mention for their hours of dedication. An incredible £1,583 was raised on these stalls, more than 50% of the overall takings for the day. Bravo! Thank you to Sue, Mary, Dia, Susanna and Catriona for their help in running the stall on the day.
Sue, also known for her fantastic Jam Masterclasses, is keen to get more jam-makers on board to help with stocking the stalls at future Fruit Day events. We invite you to spread the word to your friends, family, neighbours, mums and dads at the school gates, to get involved. Keep an eye out for dates for future Jam Masterclass where you will learn the skill and craft of jam-making. If you are already a dab-hand at making any form of sweet condiments, please get in touch.
CAKES & PIES GALORE
This year’s cakes & pies stall was brimming with a huge selection of scrumptious classics, such as, Dorset Apple Cakes and apple crumbles, as well as some more adventurous flavour combinations like our Honey & Walnut Cake. We also had a greater variety of dietary inclusive cakes, such as the Gluten Free Pear & Chocolate cake, which proved very popular. Thank you very much indeed to Rosie and her team (Amanda, Maggie, Veda & Florence) for coordinating and running the stall, not to mention to all our bakers for their wonderful contributions. An impressive £641.50 was made in cake and pie sales.
Alison and David’s honey stall was a roaring success as they saw their wide range of local honeys fly off the shelves. We hope to welcome them back next year.
Following a 2-year hiatus due to COVID, our pie-making stall was back with a bang and awash with (particularly little) hands, at the ready to assemble some DIY apple pies. The smiles on the children’s faces whilst making these treats were absolutely priceless and we were delighted to be able to offer this activity once again. As you can imagine, the prep work that goes into making this stall possible is no mean feat – a lot of dough needs to be pre-made and many an apple needs to be peeled, cored and chopped. We therefore want to say a big THANK YOU to Barbara, Liz, Helen and Sarah for their time and hard work.
FREE MAKE & FAMILY ACTIVITIES
Thank you to Karoline and Hugo for wowing us once again with their incredibly inventive and inspired ‘free-make’ activity. They proved that the humble wooden spoon could be turned into the most fabulous pirate puppet! There was also a fantastic uptake of the various family-friendly games and activities which many a young child (and adult!) delighted in taking part in. These activities are always a big draw and make Fruit Day such a participatory event.
FRUIT PRESS STALL
As ever our fruit press stall was a big hit, with people queuing to get their hands on some delicious, freshly-pressed apple juice (using many of our rescued apples!). The demand was such, that we ran out of bottles for people to take the juice away in! To avoid this problem next year, we would greatly appreciate more bottle donations ahead of Fruit Day, and for people to bring a bottle or two with them on the day (the glass, screw-top, 500ml tonic bottles are ideal for this). Thank you to Jane and Martin who took over from Juliet to run the fruit press this year, raising a healthy £306.99! Thank you also to our large team of helpers on this stall: Arjun, Maria, Honey, Judith, Jess, Jamie, Shelagh, Thelma, Phil, Zoe, Monika, Sue, Angela, Ewa, Nick, Brian, Arthi, Edward, Christobel, Jane SW, Paul, Sean, Joan, Laura, Sarah, Shirley and Claire.
Run by the lovely JP and Deb, the plant stall raised £82. We hope that those who made their purchases at this stall are enjoying the uplifting benefits of having some extra greenery in their homes and gardens.
BROWNIES & GIRL GUIDES
This year we had the great pleasure of having some local Brownies & Girl Guides take part in Fruit Day. They were in charge of running the raffle (a hamper filled with local and home-made goodies) and did a stellar job, raising £218. We thank Melanie and her group of girls for their enthusiasm on the day, and for their generosity. We also hope that they join us again next year!
A big thank you to Paul Gapper Photography for generously giving up their time and lending their photography skills to capturing our event with some wonderful photos. If you haven't already done so, please see the photo reel from this year's event.
Back by popular demand were the fabulous Songs on Wheels, covering all the golden oldie classics as well as the International Ukulele Orchestra with their toe-tapping renditions. Their wonderful upbeat entertainment always elevates Fruit Day and we feel privileged to have had both groups join us again this year. Thank you to all the band members for their brilliant contribution.
We were thrilled to have Sam and his Forty Acre Forest coffee bike serving up some delicious hot drinks. This made an excellent addition to our event.
SUSTAINABLE MERTON & FRIENDS OF THE EARTH
As in previous years, it was wonderful to have our friends, Amy from Sustainable Merton, and Gabriel from Friends of the Earth, take part in Fruit Day – both like-minded organisations which share so many of our ideals. An additional ‘thank you’ to Sustainable Merton for faithfully championing our event on social media in the lead-up to Fruit Day, and for their excellent idea of selling local fresh bread at their stall which was a very nice addition.
In short, we wish to thank EVERYONE that was involved in this year’s Fruit Day, with a special final emphasis on those who attended our event on the day and brought with them such a wonderful energy. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how the day went and hope everyone enjoyed themselves as immensely as we did. Thank you for your support and we look forward to doing it all again in 2023! Until then, take care.
OUR NEXT NEWSLETTER
We will be back in touch in 2023. If you are interested to find out more about Abundance Wimbledon, what we do and how you can get involved, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@AbundanceWim).
Feel free to send any news to our Communications Officer, Cristina.
** To get in touch about any of the above information, please just reply to this email **
Best wishes and sincere thanks from us all
Juliet and the team at Abundance Wimbledon