This month’s first speaker is Kate Alexander talking to eRotarian John Isles. Kate is a member of the eClub and our assistant Treasurer. She is also part of the team behind the monthly eDraw raisng monies for our contribution to Rotary.
John: Katherine welcome to our Speaker slot and perhaps we can start by asking you to tell us a little about yourself?
Kate: Hello John, this feels like a question you get on a game show so I am Kate Alexander, I am 28 from Spalding Lincolnshire. I studied psychology and criminology at university but was never sure where it would lead. I had worked in a department store for many years around school and university but also helped my dad with some of his accountancy work. A long story short I ended up deciding to help with the family business for a year until I decided where I wanted to settle down and what career I wanted to go for.
It turns out that accountancy and business management is the career I was good at and now 7 years on I work alongside my father, have two businesses of my own and am part way through my AAT qualification.
Kate: Spalding town used to host the Flower/Tulip parade every year which was a huge event for the town with thousands coming to see the event. It was a large parade made up of floats, bands, dance groups and much more. Last year was its final year due to funding running out, lack of focus on the town and because it became far too commercial.
The local council did try to create a new event but again there were too many voices and obstacles and private agendas. So in February this year Ian Smee and John Aitkinson (fellow Rotarians) decided to get a smaller group together and find a way of creating an event. There are 8 people in the Spalding People’s Parade team who are purely interested in bring the parade back to the local people.
We have been writing and speaking to many people to get some funding behind the parade but due to lack of time we will have a very small budget this year. We have planned the event to take place on Sunday 22nd June 2014 at a local school that has had some difficult press in the past few years. There will be Mega slides, Bouncy castles, go karts, sumo suits, live bands, stalls and food at the event site. Then there will be a parade at 1pm following a 2 mile route from the school around some of the town and back again. The parade has a marching band and 20 trolley floats created by local schools and businesses. They are hand pushed carts with animal frames on top decorated in all sorts of flowers and craft bits. We also have some dancers in the parade.
The local schools, charities and businesses are slowly coming together again to help Spalding People’s Parade become something of a regular local event to bring the community back together. The theme this year is Celebrating Families and so the main goal is to make a free event that everyone can enjoy. We are a non-profit group who really wants to see the locals come together and help integrate the many eastern Europeans with the local Spaldonians.
John: How do you feel Rotary can help?
Kate: The Rotary is what inspires this sort of event, if it was not for the work I see Rotary doing I would not have even thought that 8 people could pull this off. Rotary has shown me that helping your community is very important but has also shown me the vast array of connections available to us. There really is such a thing as people power and helping people without personal gain.
The Click4action eRotary donated £100 to the cause and by doing this helped encourage more organisations such as the Inner Wheel and Lions clubs to help out too. When our main events organiser decided to resign from the group we were left with a very negative outlook on the future of the event. However, with the help of social media and this club I was able to express my concerns and get some really good advice. This meant that the next meeting was helped by my positive nature and suggestions that were created by my club.
Kate: The long term goal is to create a bigger and better event every year that only promotes helping the town of Spalding and surrounding areas. We have to go back to our roots, learn our heritage, use people power, promote our local area and give Spalding back its community spirit. The world is changing so rapidly around us but our families, friends and communities should be changing together.