There are different reasons why people join the Henfield BP Guild: some people are looking to do something a bit different with their lives; others see it as a good way of meeting new people, especially if they are new to the village. Whatever their initial reasons for joining, all members agree that they get a lot of fun out of it, as well as the satisfaction of helping others.
The annual BP Guild fundraising activities are very much a fun and high profile part of village life. If you have ever visited a village event in the warmer summer months then chances are you have come across the legendry marquee erecting, BBQ catering and beer-pulling skills of the BP Guild! From the biennial village summer fair, walks for charity and sporting events, there isn’t much that the Guild haven’t covered in terms of village, providing a cheerful and professional service as well as raising money. In the winter months the Guild members use their close contacts with Father Christmas to take him on a tour of the village on his musical sleigh and delivering presents on Christmas morning. Then there’s the BP Guild jumble sales, where villagers can donate their unwanted quality clutter as well as picking up a bargain and a delicious cake!
All this fundraising activity brings in anything from £10,000 to £15,000 in charitable donations a year from the generosity of local residents. This is then discretely distributed back out to the local community and anyone in the village can put in a request to the BP Guild for assistance. The Guild facilitates smaller donations through its ‘Guild Gives Back’ scheme which enables smaller amounts to be transferred quickly, whilst larger donations are approved by a membership vote.
The BP Guild recently helped out the Warren Playgroup who were facing a large bill to replace their outdoor equipment storage. They approached the BP Guild to see if they could help them and on assessing the situation, the Guild members realised that they had the skills to securely replace the leaky roof themselves, providing a much cheaper and more sustainable solution with just a few hours work! Another fortunate recipient this year has been the Henfield Haven who benefited from the funds raised by a particularly successful barbeque and bar hosted by the BP Guild at the recent Henfield Cricket Club match against the MCC.
An annual village event that the BP Guild organises is the Senior Citizens Outing which takes place at the end of the summer. Older residents are invited to take part in a day trip by coach to a popular local tourist destination, followed by a slap-up meal, a glass of something ‘medicinal’ and entertainment back in the village hall. Whilst this year the event had to be scaled back to just an afternoon tea due uncertainty earlier in the year, they hope to be back bigger and better next year!
The Henfield BP Guild is on the lookout for new members. The only qualification required is enthusiasm and individuals are only expected to give whatever time they are able; family and work obligations always come first. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can support the BP Guild please contact Rob Laughton on 07775 506631. If you would like to hire a marquee or the BBQ and beer service, call Brian