Charity set to host its annual fete virtually

Minstead Trust’s usual annual fete has been unable to go ahead

A CHARITY which supports people with learning disabilities and autism will host its annual fete virtually due to the restrictions on public events.


The Minstead Trust was set up in 1986 and currently helps more than 200 people achieve greater independence, as well as providing training and work experience opportunities.

It runs Furzey Gardens and Minstead Lodge, and recently took over Hanger Farm Arts Centre in Totton – all of which were forced to shut their doors in March following government advice, causing a substantial loss of income.

Although Furzey Gardens reopened on 8th June with restricted visitor numbers, the annual fete held at Minstead Lodge has been unable to go ahead due to social distancing restrictions.

Instead the trust will hold the event virtually, on its website and Facebook page, between 11am and 5.30pm on Friday (26th June).

Those “attending” can watch hourly videos live from Minstead Lodge as well as buying tickets for a raffle, with a £50 Sainsbury’s voucher as the top prize, and a virtual balloon race.

Organisers are hosting ‘The Great Fete Bake’ and are asking people to submit a photo of recent lockdown baking, as well as ‘The Sow and Grow Big Plant Show’ for the best vegetables, fruit, plants or flowers.

There will also be a cutest pet and best trick competition, all of which can be submitted ahead of the event in the form of a photo or maximum 60-second video via Facebook messenger or by emailing