BBF welcomes everyone back to Madrid after the summer!
On the 13th of September the BBF celebrated its 5th annual English speaking fair at St George’s Anglican Church in Madrid. The event was a huge success, the best yet!
Over 400 people and nearly 40 stalls packed into the church’s hidden garden patio for Fresh Madrid 2018, a dynamic community fair that raised over 800 euros for the British Benevolent Fund. This year’s fair broke attendance records and gained some important new exhibitors. Stalwart Madrid-based English-speaking associations such as the American Women’s Club and the British Scouts were joined by diverse clubs such as the Hash House Harriers and Hiking Madrid. New companies to join the foray this year were Vaughan Systems and HM Hospitales, contributing to the hubbub of English language conversations about all and sundry.
Visitors to the fair sampled vegan cookies prepared by Parisa Salahshourian, middle eastern delicacies made by refugee Syrian chefs, lollipops handed out by Kids in Madrid, beer from local brewery Oso Brew Co and ubiquitous tea and coffee, so quintessentially British, served by willing volunteers.
Advice was at hand on issues as varied as chargers for electric cars, Spanish language classes, private insurance policies, individual health cover, alternative therapies and multilingual therapy. English language entertainers including award-winning comedienne Tricia Audette and local band The Lovehearts were there to talk about their latest shows. Children’s ballet teacher Joy, who runs a weekly class at St George’s, and creative dance company Hello! English spoke about their activities for 2018/19. Other children’s services providers included Dolores Gage who teaches pottery in English / French to children and Fun Finance who help budding child entrepreneurs’ work out budgets.
Madrid-based English pop group The Lovehearts, promoted the release of their latest 5 song EP on Spotify at #FreshMadrid. Chris Neill, trumpet player in the Lovehearts and case support volunteer for the BBF said: “As all our compositions are in English, the Fresh Madrid Fair was the perfect platform for us to promote the release of our EP on Spotify”.
Regular social groups such as Madrid Babel, the American Club and the International Newcomers Club of Madrid recruited new members, whilst St George’s church raised awareness of their forthcoming fundraising activities. Volunteers from the British Cemetery shared their enthusiasm for this quaint corner of Madrid that is the fountain of many stories. Meanwhile, the new feature for 2018 – a BBF tombola – was surprisingly popular with visitors. All in all, the fair was a true representation of everything Madrid’s English-speaking community has to offer. Olaf Clayton, Events organizer for the British Benevolent Fund thanked everyone who took part: “This was a wonderful evening connecting the English-Speaking community in Madrid”.