July 24 2014 Latest news:
by Tim Lamden
Friday, June 27, 2014
A major street festival aimed at bringing the community together to support a Swiss Cottage special school will return in September after a five-year hiatus.
A Perfect Day, attended by 20,000 residents when it was last held in 2009, returns on September 21 to celebrate the £24million redevelopment of Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre.
The festival will take place over a 320m stretch of Avenue Road, including the school site, and will see the street closed to traffic between Adelaide Road and Elsworthy Road for the day.
Visitors will be treated to a funfair, food stalls, musical performances and appearances from celebrities, including comedian Jimmy Carr who lives locally. A large number of acts and events are still to be announced.
A Perfect Day founder Marsha Lee, a film producer and former Avenue Road resident, said: “It’s the only community event in this area that brings together all the different local schools, businesses and charities. It’s the only festival that is dedicated to special needs.
“It’s really back to basics. It’s a community day. People who are used to typing in zeros are holding coins in their hand and barbecuing.
“Businessmen who deal in private equity are just hot dog sellers on the day. That’s the kind of thing I’m talking about.
“Whoever can bring whatever, it is welcome. We are looking forward to hearing from them. We are looking for a roster of volunteers we can count on for September 21.”
The festival was dreamed up by Ms Lee as a way of raising community awareness of the school’s work.
It was held for the first time in 2006 and again in 2008 and 2009 but was then put on hold during the construction of the school’s new world-class facilities, which opened in October 2012.
In 2009, the festival raised £70,000 for the school’s new Development and Research Centre and Ms Lee is hoping to raise even more this year for the Pigs4Kids campaign, backed by the Ham&High, which supports the new centre.
The newspaper kicked off the campaign in September 2012 asking readers to raise £60,000 and the festival will mark the climax of our two-year fundraising efforts.
Ms Lee added: “It’s a pivotal time for special needs in the way it’s approached and I think we should all try to be the wind beneath its wings and really try to push it.
“I think A Perfect Day is about hope. It’s turning that hope into a reality.”
If you are a volunteer, business or organisation wishing to get involved, e-mail email@example.com and if you wish to donate to Pigs4Kids, please text “PIGS04”, followed by the amount you wish to donate (e.g “£5”), to 70070.