The Annual Gift of Sight Fair

Friday, 6 November 2009

St John Ambulance working with the Eye Hospital Group

At the time of going to press, the Guild and all at the Eye Hospital Group’s London office were gearing up for our annual fundraising jamboree, the Gift of Sight Fair.

Due to take place on 15 October, the GOSF has been organized by the Guild for nearly 30 years and in the run up to this year’s event, Guild member Sarah-Jane Holden took a break from her busy schedule to gives us a bit of background.

“The first Gift of Sight Fair took place in 1990 at St. Columba’s Church in Pont Street. The Guild had organised a Bazaar for many years at St. George’s Hospital on Hyde Park Corner but Lady Cathcart, the Guild Chairman at the time, thought it was time for expansion and the GOSF – from which 10% of the proceeds come to the Hospital – was inaugurated.

In 1995, thanks to the generosity of a Guild supporter, it was possible to move to its present site at Kensington Town Hall.

This year we will have had three stallholders who have sold at every fair since that first one: Food from France, which sells delicious pâtés, comfit and preserved delicacies; Out of the Orient – with such a fan base that a lot of visitors come just for this stall; and Sylvia’s, who year on year makes us laugh with her mad goodies.

In a major development for this year, the new Chief President of the St John Ambulance, The Hon Mrs Virginia Lovell, agreed that the Fair would be a perfect opportunity for the two Foundations of the Order of St John to work together and so, for the first time, St John Ambulance have been giving us a hand and will receive a percentage of the profits.

We will let you all know how this new partnership went come the next issue of Jerusalem Scene.

The Fair is always a marvellous and fun opportunity to get a good start on that Christmas shopping list. I do hope you’ll all have come along and supported our most wonderful and successful Hospital.”