Organisers of Brede Farmers’ Market celebrated raising £20,000 for charity on its 16th birthday today (Friday, June 10).
The market has been going since 2000 and has been supporting farmers, Brede Village Hall where its based, and charities throughout its history.
A variety of stalls are on offer every week from 10am to 12pm and all of the money made from the tea room goes to charity.
A special performance by amateur choir Vocality marked the special occasion and founder Elizabeth Stephens was proud of their achievement.
“We are so thrilled to have got to £20,000 and I am really proud of everyone who has helped us,” she said.
“Money from the tables goes to supporting the village hall and that’s why we started it up.”
Stalls range from fresh fish to handmade boxes, flowers to bread and cards to sweets, as well as tea and cakes.
Brede Friendly Circle organise the tea room and have donated to many different charities including The British Heart Foundation, Brede Primary School and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Mary Baker took over running the market 10 months ago after selling bread for a number of years but still could not believe how much had been raised in 16 years.
“It’s a bit unbelievable, only when you see the figures you realise just how much we’ve made,” she said.
“I think the friends should pat itself on the back.”
Dairy farmer Lesley Byford-Bates has been selling raw milk from Redlays Farm at the market since it opened 16 years ago.
Her farm is the last one in the parish and Lesley’s business relies on the farmers’ market.
“It’s very important because people who buy from us here then come up to the farm the rest of the week,” she said.
“I do a lot of London markets too and without them I would not survive.”
Eileen O’Shaughnessy and Ann Cull walk down to the market most weeks and often come just for a chat and a catch up.
“I’ve come regularly for about a year since I retired and got the time,” Eileen said.
Ann added: “It’s good fun and nice to have a cup of tea and catch up with people don’t always see.”
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