THE LIVING ADVENT CALENDAR IS BACK FOR 2015, PROMISING TO RAISE MORE MONEY FOR MORE CHARITIES THAN EVER BEFORE!
Whilst the iconic summer festivities are on the horizon in Henley with the Regatta site taking shape, preparations for this year’s Henley Living Advent Calendar are also very much underway, and this year the Big Society and Towns Alive award winner is hoping to help raise more money for more charities than ever before.
“The audience is accustomed to a surprise performer at a different venue, with a different partner, every night”, explained event organiser Richard Rodway. “This year, each night will also be dedicated to raising funds for a different deserving local cause. It will enable us to showcase more of the immense good work that is done locally, and raise some much needed funds, whilst of course having a fabulous time with an entertaining performance!”
“We would therefore love to hear from local charities who would like to get involved and fundraise on their night(s).”
Performances last year ranged from a Robbie Williams tribute act ‘Robbing Williams’ on the opening night in Falaise Square, to the choir of Saint Mary's Church on Christmas Eve, visiting venues such as the Leander Club, Phyllis Court, the Kenton Theatre, the Regal Picturehouse, Henley College, and d:two to name but a few in between. “As was the case last year, we will be inviting back some familiar faces who have performed before and who have been well received, and also introducing some fantastic new acts to the Living Advent”.
Whether as a venue, performer, charity, sponsor, marshall, there a lots of ways in which people can contribute to and help put on the event. “It is only as good as the sum of its component parts, and it would be great to hear from anyone who would like to get involved”.
A BIG THANKS
With the festive period now having to an end, it has been confirmed that the 4th Henley Living Advent Calendar has raised over £3,300.00 for this year’s supported charities Camp Mohawk, Chiltern Centre, Headway Thames Valley, Regatta for the Disabled and Riverside Counselling.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s event, for their time, effort, sponsorship and spirit” said Richard Rodway, Chair of the Henley Living Advent Calendar Trust.
“I must give a big thanks to Hugh Legh, for the tireless work he has put in over the last month, and indeed before, putting in the infrastructure for each night, making it happen, and I have really enjoyed working with him this month. Thank you too to my fellow trustees and event organisers, Elizabeth Cleall, Carolyn Molyneux, Keith Douglas and Stuart Mullins”.
“But without the effort and endeavour of the multitude of other persons involved, our marshalls, our venues, our nightly partners, our performers, our sponsors, to CTC-Aspire for maintaining our website, to Breathe Marketing for producing our programmes, and to everyone who come along every night to share some festive cheer, the event would not be the same.”
“So I hope everyone has a wonderful New Year, a fantastic 2015, and we look forward to seeing everyone again for the 5th Henley Living Advent Calendar. Some plans were already in place for 2015 in any event, and we have already received enquiries from people about how they might be able to get involved this year which is great, and which illustrates the fantastic enthusiasm Henley has for coming together to contribute to such an enjoyable community event”.
WE'VE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE GUARDIAN'S 10 OF THE BEST UK CHRISTMAS ATTRACTIONS!
We're delighted to have received further national recognition with the Guardian including us in their feature on '10 of the best UK Christmas Attractions'. Building on the Awards received in 2013, including one of David Cameron's Big Society Awards, we are very proud to hear of how well received and thought of the event is, both in Henley on Thames and beyond. With performance times being extended to 30 minutes this year, we hope that even more of an event and occasion will be made of each night, and prompt more people to come from outside Henley into the town to soak up the festive atmosphere, as well as bringing together the Henley community.
THE BIG 'SWITCH-ON AND SHOP'!
On 21st November 2014, the Living Advent started early this year, providing a taster of what's to come at Henley's new 'switch-on and shop' event. Mike Read, Anna Williamson and the Mayor counted down the switching on this years festive illuminations and opened proceedings, and then we were treated to performances from two of last year's Living Advent acts 'No Direction HoT Boys' and 'Anne & The Doughboys'. With Lawlor's the Bakers (partner on 16th December) and Hotel du Vin (host venue on 8th December) having stalls close by, and with the snow machine adding to the atmosphere, it was a great night and start of what is to come.
THE COUNTDOWN TO THE LIVING ADVENT IS VERY MUCH ON!
With only 10 weeks to go until the start of this year’s Henley Living Advent Calendar, preparations as one might expect are at a very advanced stage. The 24 venues have been in place for some time and Richard Rodway, Chair of the Henley Living Advent Calendar Trust, commented that he was delighted that some new venues were involved this year in the form of Henley Hawks Rugby Club, Henley Cricket Club and the Bandstand at Mill Meadows, whilst being very grateful for the continued and enthusiastic support or some familiar venues to the event....
LOCAL YOUNG FILMMAKERS HAVE A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY TO SEE THEIR WORK ON THE BIG SCREEN
We are on the lookout for the best winter-themed mini-films made by talented local youngsters in this exciting new competition, open to anyone under the age of 25 who lives, works or studies in Oxon, Bucks or Berks....
A Robbie Williams tribute act performed in front of 200 people on the first night of the Henley Living Advent Calendar.