By: Damian Dillon
Sir David Amess MP attended this year's Knights Saint Columba Community Fayre at Nazareth House, Westcliff-on-Sea, Southend, on Saturday 21 October. The event was opened by the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Fay Evans.
The day was an opportunity for both the public and parishioners to access many local charities, local support groups and local businesses gathered under one roof showcasing their abilities and support for the local area.
Nazareth House is a Catholic care home with a convent inside the grounds too, so with permission from the Sisters of Nazareth, the Knights based in Southend set about inviting exhibitors, who are either both working and based in Southend, or working for the people in Southend.
Those present ranged from Catholic groups such as the Sisters, the Catholic Clothing Guild, SVP, Brentwood Catholic Children's Society, and CAFOD Brentwood; other Christian groups such as Christians Against Poverty, Serving the Homeless, Storehouse Direct, and Havens Hospices, as well as Essex Savers Credit Union, Southend Soup, Terrence Higgins Trust, Alzheimers Society, Active Direct, Friends and Places Together, and Southend Older People's Assembly.
Mayor Fay Evans spoke to each and every group present about their work in the community. Sir David Amess MP, whose constituency covers Nazareth House, and the Mayor jointly presented the nuns with a cheque for £800 raised by the Knights to support the work of the Sisters.
Fairtrade was also part of the ethos in not just helping people locally but those around the world so a raffle consisting of all fairtrade items from Sainsburys and CAFOD including a fairtrade hamper was held, and fairtrade refreshments were served. To cap it all, the Knights had organised collection boxes for unwanted mobile phones, old spectacles, used stamps and old currency for charities to make use of, and manned a second hand book sale to raise funds for the work of the Sisters.
All in all, a rounded effort to help as many people as possible to improve their circumstances with opportunities to gain help and give to others also.
Read more about the Knights of St Columba: www.ksc.org.uk