Life at Great Yorkshire Show for over 25 years
Last week, Life attended the Great Yorkshire Show. We’ve attending for over 25 years! As many of you know, this week is the one-year anniversary when Lambeth Country Show unceremoniously evicted Life from their event. Our experience at the Great Yorkshire Show, compared with Lambeth, could not have been more different.
This is only the second time I have personally attended the Great Yorkshire Show. It was a genuine pleasure to see the amazing reactions from the general public; not just for the appreciation of our services, but also for the awe and wonder they felt for the earliest stages of life in the womb.
Setting the scene
Allow me to set the scene – the Great Yorkshire Show is one of the largest events of its kind in the country. This year was attended by 135,095 people. There are a variety of stalls and activities including craft, agriculture and fashion to name a few and right at the centre is a collection of charity stalls, where Life were placed. For three days, we interacted with over 3000 members of the public.
Without doubt, our most popular interactions centred around a guessing game involving placing fetal models along a pregnancy timeline. Players had to guess at what point along the line certain landmarks were reached (e.g. when the heart starts beating or when hiccups have been detected). This was a particular favourite for children, one of whom said
‘You have to come to my school! I’m going to tell my teacher about you!’
Another young boy – about three years old – kept holding the smallest model and gently tried to kiss it. Many pregnant women and their families came to see what their baby would look like at that moment. In fact, one held a model to her tummy, saying to an older child ‘this is how big your baby sister is right now!’ This game was particularly popular with midwives keen to test their knowledge.
Of course, because we were advertising our services, we also heard from a number of people who were looking for support. Some to help with pregnancy loss, others because they experienced abortion, or knew someone who had. There were also one or two who were currently pregnant and extremely worried about whether they could manage with a baby. It is always humbling when people trust you and your organisation enough to share some of their deepest emotions. And although some of these experiences were obviously highly sensitive for the people involved, all left reassured by the knowledge that someone would be there for them if they reached out.
Supporting our services
One person went away saying
I don’t agree with you, but the services you offer sound amazing and it’s good that you’re able to do that.
Another person upon hearing how we operate took Pregnancy Matters™ service cards for people she thought might benefit from our help.
We can’t thank the organisers enough for their continued support. And thank you to everyone who shared some of their time with us over those few days.
We were sadly unable to attend Lambeth Country Show this year. But we will renew our application next year and would like to ask their organisers not to be fearful. Instead, they should realise that if the Great Yorkshire Show can accommodate us, there is no reason why Lambeth shouldn’t also.