Ella Rose Peck interviewed by Olivia Broadbent Smith

What is your favourite part of Fair Day?
My favourite part of Fair Day is probably when they do the procession because everybody is cheering for the Brownies and and the floats. When they all come together on the Village Green and everyone is cheering, I really like that.

What do you think makes our community so special?
Well I think it’s that there are so many people, of so many different ages, who are always there for each other and they are all so friendly.

Where is your favourite place in Ditchling?
Probably the centre, because there’s the post office and the cafe’s and I walk through there a lot if I’m going to my friend’s house. It’s a nice little place with everything there.

What does this nomination mean to you?
It means a lot, because it means I know there are people who recognise what I do. It’s a nice feeling to feel special.

Do you have anything else you would like to say about Ditchling?
I think that we’re really, really lucky to have such a good community, because we are all there for each other and there are a lot of people who don’t have a community like ours.

Pam Murray nominated Ella Rose

Tell us a little bit about why you nominated Ella Rose?
Ella Rose attends school with my daughter, she has a very good group of social friends that she attends mass with as well. Ella was part of orchestrating the food bank collection just before Christmas. It was lovely, because it was the children’s idea and they put together a speech to talk to the congregation before each of the mass services in the weeks running up to Christmas to ask for donations to the food bank. It’s a very brave thing to do, to stand up in front of a lot of people and talk.

The children then collected the stuff at the end of mass every Saturday and then we had to sort it. We thought we’d only get a few donations, but actually we had so much stuff as a group, the children were able to donate not just to the food bank, but also to two homeless charities in Brighton and to the Burgess Hill homeless breakfast and shower that runs in the church. So it was a small act of kindness that ended up being a very, very big, powerful thing for the community.

I think what Ella was saying about the lovely sense of community there is in Ditchling, what we were seeing was there are people who don’t have that. So it’s lovely, as a community, to collectively do something to support others, which Ella and her friends thoroughly enjoyed.

I think that in this day and age we live in a world full of technology and social media and this idea of having everything. To be part of Ditchling Fair and that community is actually very special and lots of people are isolated out there. I think it’s important to show that young people, like Ella, aren’t just about having the latest stuff and that collectively can support people who have nothing, have no families and don’t have a community like Ditchling. And Ella was right there doing it, so that’s really important. Action speaks louder than words.

Village Gems Celebration Evening Gallery

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About Ditchling Fair

In 1312 King Edward II granted John de Warenne, Lord of the Manor, the right to run a Fair in Ditchling 'in the eve and in the day and in the morrow of St Margaret the Virgin' and thus was to be celebrated on July 20th.

More information is on The Ditchling History Project website...