The Fundraising Feast

Wednesday 6th March 2024By Maggie Dorey

As a part of my work experience for my Art and Writing BA, I signed up to help support the Fundraising Feast at Home Vintage to help The Pearl Exchange reach its 50k goal in support of the relocation to a new building. The evening was a great success.

In essence it was filled with warmth and laughter and genuine connection. Seeing the authentic sense of community amongst those who were volunteering and those who attended was, quite simply, moving. Bringing people together for the sole purpose of continuing and expanding what The Pearl Exchange project had started – to uplift and inspire the young people.

I came to the event not really knowing anyone or what I would be doing but excited to be a part of it. I left feeling I had met so many interesting and genuinely kind and friendly people I fear I would not have met in many other situations. It was so exciting to see firsthand the impact the Pearl Exchange has had on my own little town by the sheer amount of generosity from those attending, the volunteers, the local businesses donating prizes and all those involved in aid of The Pearl Exchange’s call for support. It was also evident that this wasn’t just a fundraiser, it genuinely meant something to the community, it was beautifully decorated, and many attendees came dressed to impress. It was evident that this event was not put together thoughtlessly and those who attended came because they cared.

Living in Cornwall as a young person can be quite isolating, disconnected from major cities and the wider world. I know I have found it difficult when I come home from uni when I’m not creating, and my friends are still all over the country studying.

I found that due to the lack of creative and social outlets for young people many of us will end up moving out of Cornwall. I knew I was guilty of this, having moved away to university at my first chance out of fear of being stuck. Having now been introduced to The Pearl Exchange and the hub of young creative, similar minded people, this has given me and many other young people the space to not feel so isolated and not feel like they are leading a double life when they return home, that their creativity now has the space to follow them home where it will be nurtured and encouraged.

The fundraiser feast being the final causation for The Pearl Exchange meeting their 50k aim was a pleasure to be a part of, knowing that the effort who have invested into The Pearl Exchange and now that expansion to a bigger building is a possible through the generosity of the wider community, it is wonderful to see Bude becoming a rich fortunate place to grow up and to
return to!