October 2019 – fireworks and other distractions

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One advantage of being freelance is that one can manage one’s time to fit around other commitments, such as family, and to volunteer for charitable and other good causes.

For many years I have been a member of Southend Round Table, a charitable organisation that seeks to raise funds for local good causes whilst having fun and forming friendships. Our main fundraiser is the Big Beach Bang, a fireworks display at East Beach, Shoeburyness. Not only has this raised tens of thousands of pounds every year, it also brings together families and the wider community and is a highly anticipated annual event. People and organisations come together to put it on, to which people travel from far and wide to watch.

Of course, all this cannot happen without months of planning and preparation throughout the year, culminating in one of the most tiring weekends I have ever known.

Up to 5,000 people have to be marshalled and looked after; £10,000 worth of fireworks set off safely; hundreds of fence panels, for crowd control and marking off danger zones, have to be put up and taken down on the day; fairground attractions and catering vans have to be marshalled in and out. If we’re out by midnight, we consider ourselves lucky. Then the day after is inspecting the park for litter and getting everything put away for another year. Then we sleep…

Yes, it is tiring; but the camaraderie amongst those who organise it and the smiles on people’s faces as they leave is just reward. And it raises cash for local good causes as well.

So, if you have nothing planned on the 2nd November, why not come along? If you do have something on, then cancel it and come along. Tickets can be bought here.

And, it isn’t too late to get involved. If you can spare a few hours on the day extra hands are always welcome. If you fancy it, contact me.

Kindly proofread by Annie Deakins at Proofnow.

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