A Shropshire heritage charity is hosting a Eurovision-inspired fete that will celebrate inclusivity and show support to Ukraine, thanks to support from The National Lottery.
‘Kalush’ will be held at the Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust and will take place during the build-up to Eurovision in Liverpool. It will be open to all within the Whitchurch community and beyond.
Inclusivity is at the heart of the fun day, with the event designed to welcome all within the local community regardless of their background, and – thanks to National Lottery support – for free.
Operations Manager Jessica Bone said: “We want to make sure we are taking steps to make sure this event is inclusive as we possibly can, to make sure that everybody feels welcome when they come.
“This is us saying that everybody is welcome and there will be a storytelling session from drag queens, we want to convey their ethos that it’s OK to be different.
“We would not be able to hold this event if we didn’t have The National Lottery funding.
“Whitchurch is a small town which relies indirectly on rural and heritage tourism, so holding these large-scale events benefits the whole community.
It brings in visitors that are vital to businesses currently.
“Without that funding we would not be able to see this, so it’s crucial and it means during a time where the cost-of-living crisis is affecting everybody, it’s allowing us to hold a day out for the community that isn’t going to cost them a fortune.
“Families are really in need of that sort of event at the moment so it should be a good fun day for everybody.” The National Lottery, who are one of the biggest supporters of music and culture in Liverpool, have invested over £330m in 3,600 arts and heritage projects to date. Liverpool’s historic hosting of Eurovision sees The National Lottery make a further multi-million-pound contribution to arts, heritage and community across the city.
£250,000 of National Lottery funding has been invested by The National Lottery Heritage Fund into Eurovision inspired projects through their Liverpool’s Euro Learn programme that supports music, visual arts and storytelling in schools and across the region in addition to the Euro Streets programme to engage with Liverpool’s wider communities through food, crafts, live performances and cultural celebrations.
In addition, more than forty-five community projects across the UK have shared over £300,000 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund to help bring communities together to celebrate Eurovision and support the Ukrainian community here in the UK.
After receiving funding from both the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Community Fund, the Whitchurch Silk Mill Trust will be making sure to weave in the heritage of the silk mill within the fete with a distinctive design to celebrate the relationship between the United Kingdom and Ukraine created.
She added: “We are going to be releasing our own silk that we’ve woven to celebrate Eurovision – featuring the flag colours of both the Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
“That will be a chance for the young weavers that we have working here to showcase their heritage skills and we’ll also have a pop-up weaving exhibition.
“We know that there is a local support group for Ukrainian families in a neighbouring town. We have planned to advertise the event to them and let them know what we’re doing, to showcase the silk to them so they can see their flag colours are prevalent in this design.
“It was really important for us to show our support and that we stand with them.”
National Lottery players raise more than £30 million a week for arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport, and voluntary projects across the UK; see the difference it’s making near you at www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk