Ballater Winter Festival
Ballater is a small tourist based village in North East Aberdeenshire, the tourism is based very much on the summer season and in order to bring more people in at the end of the year I started Ballater Winter Festival. A weekend at the end of November when our Christmas lights are switched on, lots of people come to see the lights but leave immediately after my proposal was to keep folk in the village for longer and to give the kids and younger village members a weekend of fun. To this end I started bringing in a skating rink
I have continued to do this each year since.
In the first year I got a fair bit of local financial support and this has continued up til 2016, sadly in December 2015 our village was devastated by flooding some businesses are only just back up and running and many people are still out of their homes 16 months after the event. This made it impossible to ask for financial help locally last year. We had to use the little we had left pus a bit of begging , to put on last years event, this year I don't know how we will manage so I am looking for help
Bringing support to our village in the low tourist season, and giving local children the chance to experience some new activities. I run the project with the help of about 8+ volunteers, all of them not only giving time but often financial support too, we started in 2011 and have put BWF on each year since then. It is not a money making venture and needs a lot of support financially, its more of a moral booster for the village in general, this was especially important last year after the floods.
How would this funding have an impact on your community?
We would put the money towards bringing in the various events , many come for nothing and give us a financial donation but our centre piece is the skating rink and most of the money we raise goes towards paying for this. Once we become more self sufficient, which may be a few years yet we will be able to do as our other big village event Ballater Victoria Week does and hand out grants to small village activities (Victoria Week last year donated over £4000 to local groups) we have only so far been able to help one local group The Buttony Bear project, but with help to continue we can increase this year on year
"Our fundraising is made up from small donations and we are most grateful for any amount that helps us put on this event for our village community. Val Norton Founder of BWF"