One of the things which endeared us to the public who were showing us so much affection at the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant was the fact that we are all volunteers.

Every single person involved with Bridgwater Guy Fawkes Carnival and the other Somerset Carnivals, be it the clubs, the entries, or the committees, all have a daytime job, are in full-time education or are retired.

We are involved with carnival and give our time freely simply because it’s our hobby and we enjoy it. Also, its our way of giving something very special to the local community.

Of course, on the night the carnival comes to town, we are always looking for extra volunteers to help us with a variety of roles. These include street collectors, marshals, programme sellers, and carnival makers to name just a few.

According to the Volunteering and Charitable Giving Community Life Survey 2020/21, which is available from the Government website, the number of people volunteering across the UK is on the decline.

Despite this national downward trend, we were very pleased to see the interest in the special ‘drop in’ session we held recently at the carnival centre to attract new carnival volunteers.

It was a very worthwhile day, and we thank those who registered their interest in helping us with this year’s carnival on Saturday, November 5.

Carnival only happens because of volunteers, and every year we could always do with more people to help us.

So, if you would like to get involved and become a Bridgwater Carnival volunteer, we really would love to hear from you.

All you need to do is email, or drop into our carnival centre. Your help, support and time would be greatly appreciated.

On another subject, it is so wonderful to see another iconic Somerset event returning following the pandemic.

Glastonbury Festival takes place between June 22 and 26, and once again we will see approximately 200,000 people descend upon the fields of Pilton.

Like our very own carnival, Glastonbury Festival provides a big financial boost to the local economy and supports good causes and charities, and many of our carnival clubs will be working at the festival to raise funds to build their spectacular entries for this year’s carnival.

We wish everybody involved with the festival our very best wishes.

Until the next time…

Dave Stokes