By Cameron Galloway.

Our biggest community event of the year was a huge success with over 3,000 guests in attendance to celebrate YMCA Founders Day and our 145th anniversary.

Despite a mixed forecast, we arrived on site at 7.50am to clear blue skies and a warm breeze. With excitement building, our brilliant group of volunteers got to work preparing Northumberland Square for what was to come. By 10am the square was already filling up, and after a quick briefing by myself, Ian Pearson and Connor Fenton, we were underway.

All four corners of Northumberland Square, the Two Pennies pub and YMCA’s Cafe 1879 were buzzing throughout the day. Families enjoyed a wide range of activities, from hook-a-duck and face painting to safe archery and rock painting. Our BBQ and Tombola table all but sold out and we had to use a second book of raffle tickets to fulfil the demand.

YMCA England and Wales’ giant Manifesto Puzzle made its way up the country, especially for the event. The puzzle aimed to highlight the key issues that YMCA hope the new government will focus on all while encouraging the public to register to vote. The puzzle worked a treat with 7 of our housing residents registering to vote soon after!

The success of Picnic in the Park wouldn’t have been possible without the dedication of our incredible staff and volunteers. Their hard work from setting up the park to running stalls, stewarding the event, and facilitating all the fun activities, ensured a smooth and enjoyable day for everyone.

We’d also like to express our sincere gratitude to Newcastle Building Society for their fantastic sponsorship, which played a vital role in making this event possible. A heartfelt thank you also to everyone who donated prizes and contributed to making the event a success. We couldn’t do it without your collaboration and support.

With over 3,000 attendees and a vibrant atmosphere, Picnic in the Park 2024 was a resounding success! We can’t wait to start planning for next year’s event which will be part of the NS800 calendar. Let’s make it even bigger and better!

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