22 May 2024

Funding woes

The issue of event organisers struggling to find enough funding has been in the news a fair bit of late.

Just over a week ago, the BBC ran a story on Hornsea Carnival’s funding shortfall, with the attention-grabbing headline effectively saying “it won’t happen unless we get enough money”.

In the article itself, though, carnival committee chairman Iain Poole seemed to stop short of actually saying the event would not go ahead.

Headlines like these tread a fine line, for me. While a stark warning such as this might prompt some businesses and individuals into donating and therefore “saving” a particular event, the element of doubt might make others who have already supported it begin to worry whether they have wasted their hard-earned cash.

In the midst of the discussion on Hornsea Carnival and other local events struggling for funding, Blue Light Weekend co-director Andy Medcalf went on Radio Humberside and said that they might be forced to scale back some aspects of the event if they did not receive enough money.

This ended up being lost in translation on the same night’s Look North, with Peter Levy announcing that the Blue Light Weekend WAS scaling back this year in the face of a funding shortfall.

I’m told this could have led to some pretty difficult repercussions for the event’s organisers, who had to take to social media to reassure visitors and potential sponsors that this report was inaccurate.

As the Gazette reported a couple of weeks ago, the Blue Light Weekend organisers were warning that this year’s incredible Tier 2 air show – very much in the planning and very much NOT being scaled back – could be the last if more funding isn’t forthcoming.

The current economic climate is so difficult for event organisers – and everyone – right now. On Page 7 of this week’s edition, those behind Withernsea Carnival say similar things – that without more support, they won’t be able to deliver the free events that struggling families around here desperately need.

So what can be done? I guess what Iain Poole suggests is good for a start – if everyone gives a little, that adds up a lot. We need to start looking at things as a community, and not as individuals. If every resident gave even just one pound to these causes, it would make a huge difference.

If you can help with any of these events, in any way – and you could donate your time instead of your money – please do contact them. Our communities would surely end up richer as a result.