Santa, songs, gifts and a grotto
by Hayley Robinson
Festive spirit was brought to
life thanks to a Christmas fete.
More than 200 people made their
way through the doors of Kemsley village hall on Saturday to browse
and buy gifts from a variety of stalls.
Items for sale included arts and
crafts, jewellery, sweets and toys.
Youngsters got the chance to
visit Father Christmas in his grotto and tell him what presents
they’d like to receive on Christmas Day.
The grotto, which was funded
by Little Stars Nursery – a full-time resident at the hall, raised
a total of £150. The money will go to the charity Macmillan Cancer
There was also a song and
dance show, which included a modern version of the Nutcracker,
performed by 30 children from the Star Academy stage school which
meets at the hall once a week.
The fair was organised by
Chantelle Williams and her sister Claire Elliott, who have set up a
Facebook group called Kemsley Community Group in a bid to encourage
residents to attend events going on in their area.
Miss Williams, 32, who lives
in Sittingbourne and runs Star Academy, said: "It was a great
success and a great start to Christmas.
"My sister and I are both
trustees of the hall and we both work there so we have a vested
interest in getting things up and running in the
It’s been difficult to get
people into the hall, in the past people have travelled outside of
the area to go to events, now we’re trying to get them to attend
things in their area.
"The last event we held was
at Halloween and that went well as well, as we had around 200
people attend and raised £200 for the Society for
A trust consisting of 10 to
12 people, was set up towards the end of last year to take over the
running of the hall from Swale council.
The transfer, which should be
completed by next summer, will allow them to take bookings for the
venue and oversee the clubs and activities taking place
A peppercorn rent will be
paid to the council.
It is hoped that in future
the trust will become a registered charity making it exempt from
paying rates for the building.
Anyone interested in
becoming a trustee for the hall is asked to email
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