Fete and Teddy Bears Picnic will raise money for Horton fund

Lily, aged two, Jessie, four, and Phoebe Gold, aged seven. Their mum Emma came up with the Teddy Bears' Picnic plan
Lily, aged two, Jessie, four, and Phoebe Gold, aged seven. Their mum Emma came up with the Teddy Bears' Picnic plan

A huge Autumn Fete and Teddy Bears’ Picnic takes place this weekend to help raise funds targeted at saving Horton General Hospital services.

Banbury MP Victoria Prentis, fully behind efforts to save consultant services at the Horton, will officially open the event at Spiceball Park on Sunday from noon - 4.30pm.

Supporters on Save Our Horton Facebook page have come up with a wealth of activities while local organisations have offered help and attractions.

Co-organiser Val Ingram said: “Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue are bringing a fire engine and Hook Norton Brewery will run a beer tent. We have teas, a cake stall, books, bric a brac, pony rides and Daisy Sadler will bring her wagon and Shire horses for rides.

“There will also be a Punch and Judy Show and a merry-go-round - all the attractions you would expect at a traditional fete.

“Banbury’s First Flash Dance takes place, there’s penalty football, bowling and live music.

“The idea behind this is to build on the growing community spirit behind the Horton that we have been experiencing since the Hands Around the Horton event.

“We are sending a clear message to Oxford that support is growing stronger every day to resist downgrading plans which affect each and everyone of us.”

The group has asked supporters to spread the word - the poster is on Facebook - by sharing details on their timelines and printing out the promotion to pin on noticeboards.

There will plenty of food for sale on the day from pizzas and burgers to teas but people are invited to bring picnics to the teddy bears’ picnic event which offers bubbles, guess the name of the teddy and lucky dips.

The original idea for the event came from Emma Gold and Siemon Edgington.

“Lots of other lovely supporters came up with other fundraising ideas on the Facebook page,” said Mrs Gold, of Banbury.

“The admin team came on board to help us out as it had grown into a big event. We hope it will help cause enough ripples so we can keep the Horton. It’s has been something we can all focus on and come together as a community to try and help keep our maternity local.

“It has been wonderful hearing people’s stories and appreciating how much the Horton means so much to them. We have been overwhelmed with everyone’s generosity and kindness thank you to all our supporters we couldn’t have done it without them.

“Everyone has pulled together to make the day happen and I cannot wait to see all the Horton babies and staff in one space having fun together.”