Presentation Night is usually closed with the chairperson presenting their chosen charity with a donation, but this year was slightly different. This year our Carnival President and longstanding volunteer, Brian Norman stepped down from his role and the members agreed that it would be a fitting tribute for him to choose this year’s organisations that would be honoured.
Brian has served 34 years as a volunteer for Swanage Carnival, including two stints as Chairman and most recently as President, taking over from the late George Willey.
Although Brian is stepping down, he accepted an honorary lifetime membership and will therefore continue his affinity with Swanage Carnival.
Retiring Carnival President Brian Norman was presented with a montage of memories from his time in charge by our longest serving Carnival member Dave Terrett.
Brian chose two good causes, Dementia Friendly Purbeck and the Memory Box Project in Poole Hospital Critical Care Unit. Dementia Friendly Purbeck provides a large amount of dementia support in our community, including the provision of an Admiral Nurse.
Mike Bonfield and ambassadors for Dementia Friendly Swanage were presented with £1,000 as one of the President’s charities to continue its outstanding work
The final award of the evening usually goes to the chair’s chosen charity, but as Brian was retiring from his position as carnival president, after 34 years as a volunteer, the last donation of £3,000 was given to Memory Box, a little known charity which creates lasting memorials for children whose mum, dad, brother or sister dies at Poole Hospital’s critical care unit.
The heart warming keepsake supports bereaved children, by giving them a chance to collect handprints, locks of hair, perfume or aftershave and other personal items in the last hours they have with their loved ones.
Each box is unique according to each child’s need and includes story books on bereavement and a pair of matching teddies – one of which stays with the child while the other remains with the person that has passed away to create an everlasting bond.
Janine Golding pictured with a memory box similar to those given to bereaved children