Market traders and charities delighted by reinstatement of charity stalls

MARKET traders and charity workers spoke of their delight as Fenland District Council reinstated free charity stall spaces across Fenland today.

Stalls will be provided by the council on Saturday markets in March and Wisbech for charities to use after it was decided to overturn the decision to scrap the scheme six months ago.

Although no stalls will be provided, free spaces will also be offered for charities at Whittlesey and Chatteris markets.

Fenland’s Fibromyalgia Association branch (Fenland FMA), which helps people who are suffering with constant aches, pains and exhaustion, were the first to benefit at this morning’s opening in March.

Josie Chapman, FMA’s support group leader, said: “It’s fantastic news that the charity stalls are back.

“If you have a free stall to get more money and awareness in for the charity then it’s excellent. It’s even better now that it’s free as it gives us extra money to put back into the pot.”

Paul Woodruff of Coldham Fruit has had family involvement in March’s market for more than 65 years and believes the decision will benefit the town and others involved immensely.

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He said: “I was angry that the scheme was withdrawn so am pleased that it’s back.

“I’m supporting it because anything we can do to bring people into March town centre and the market is good.

“It’s a necessary facility to have such a stall in markets for people who are prepared to fundraise for good causes so let’s help them. I’m sure it’ll be a success.”

Mike Chapman, FDC’s Markets and Events Manager and Councillor Jan French both expressed their delight at the charity stalls return.

Mr Chapman said: “Facilities like this are great for local communities, fundraising groups and for the market.

“It’s fantastic that we are getting support from the market and owe a massive thank you to Paul Woodruff of Coldham Fruit at March market and Jackie Hammond of Jackie’s Fruit Sales at Wisbech.

Councillor Jan French said: “Mr Woodruff has very kindly agreed to set the March stall up, take it down and store it for us. We are going to send him a letter of thanks.

“I’m delighted that we have got the stall back for the charities, and it’s especially good now it will be free of charge.”

Anyone wishing to find out more about the stalls, spaces or their availability should contact FDC on 01354 654321.

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