Public donations save annual Stockheath Common fireworks display in Havant

Scenes at a previous instalment of the Stockheath Common Fireworks Spectacular. Picture: Mick Young
Scenes at a previous instalment of the Stockheath Common Fireworks Spectacular. Picture: Mick Young

A MUCH-LOVED fireworks spectacular has been saved after an influx of donations from the community.

Stockheath Common in Leigh Park, Havant, will play host to its annual November 5 display next month after kind-hearted donors helped raise more than £6,000.

The fundraising drive was led by Friends of Stockheath Common Fireworks (FSCF) – a community group assembled last November after Havant Borough Council withdrew its funding for the annual show. 

And now, thanks to an outpouring of donations via Facebook page and a £1,000 community grant from Hampshire County Council, organisers can afford to put the display on themselves.

‘As a committee, we were ecstatic to raise the money,' said Craig Cockram, chairman of FSCF. 

‘Carrying out this fundraising has been a learning curve for everyone involved – and it has been difficult at times – but people do love this event.

‘The community has got together and shown that every penny counts.

Volunteers at FSCF had a deadline of September 29 to raise a target of £6120, which they toppled after an outpouring on social media last month.

Other sources of income over the past 11 months include a fun day at The Heron pub, car boot sales on Stockheath Common and ticket shares from the Havant Borough Community Lottery.

Mr Cockram also praised the One Stop store in West Leigh, which had charity buckets for FSCF on display all year.

But despite efforts to raise thousands, there was a point when the fireworks display was in jeopardy – and organisers said some cutbacks measures have had to be taken to ensure FSCF can deliver their first display.

Warren Park councillor John Davis, a committee member, said: ‘Because it puts the insurance of the event up so much, there won’t be a bonfire this year – that’s one of the things we decided we could not afford.’ 

But to make sure fundraising for 2019’s event gets off to the best start, volunteers will be scattered across Stockheath Common on November 5 with buckets to collect donations.

Mr Cockram said: ‘Thousands of people come to the event, so if visitors could spare a quid on the night, that would be greatly appreciated.

‘We aim to raise half of the money needed for next year’s event, so we are prepared and can make it bigger and better for everyone coming along.’

On this year's efforts, he added: ‘We would like to thank everyone who contributed in making the fireworks happen again.’

The Stockheath Common Fireworks Spectacular will begin at 7pm. 

Stalls selling food and drink will be on-site on the night.