On the third Sunday of every month, local volunteers John and Lindsay manoeuver a bright purple wheelbarrow through the crowded streets of the Talbot Farmers Market
They are collecting donated produce and products from each of the markets stallholders to go towards the famous monthly Barrow Raffle. “Our stall holders are fantastic” says Marketing Officer Jayne Newgreen. “Not only are they extremely generous with their donations to the Barrow Raffle each month, they are really friendly and provide the market with an inviting community atmosphere”.
Just after midday the crowds gather in front of London House, raffle tickets in hand, hoping to be the lucky winner. While there is only one lucky raffle ticket holder each market the Barrow Raffle gives so much more, to the farmers market, the stall holders and the local community.
The Barrow Raffle provides stall holders an opportunity to showcase their products and the Farmers Market an opportunity to raise important funds to cover its ongoing running costs and put back into the local community.
Over the years Talbot Farmers Market has donated monies raised to local community groups as a token of appreciation for having the market literally take over the town each month, and to support the good work of others in the community. Recipients of these funds in the past have been the Talbot CFA, Talbot Medical Car and the Talbot Primary School RACV Energy Breakthrough.
On the third Sunday in August, Talbot Farmers Market president Lindsay Hazelman and vice-president John Wright presented a $500 cheque to Maryborough SES Unit Controller Jesse Wright, recognising the great work that the group does for the local community at times of need.
The Victoria State Emergency Service (VicSES) works to ensure the safety of Victorian communities by responding to emergencies and disasters across the state. Just last week, as the wild weather and heavy rainfall hit our region, the Maryborough SES was called out to assist at a home in Talbot that was experiencing inundation.
The Talbot Farmers Market decision to donate to this worthy cause was, in part due to recent changes to funding for the Maryborough SES, which has seen the local shire council withdraw their part of the subsidy. This subsidy had been provided to the SES and relied upon for many years. In fact, during his more than 35 years with the SES, Jesse could not recall a time that they were not supported by the local shire.
“There is always a need to upgrade and maintain equipment and vehicles” said Jesse, appreciative of the much needed funds. Without the local shire council subsidies the Maryborough SES is in danger of having to dip into their savings which are reserved for major equipment upgrades. Donations such as that received by the Talbot Farmers Market help to ease the pressure on these funds.
“Its a pleasure to be able to give back where we can.” explains Jayne. “We would love to see visitors pick up a Barrow Raffle ticket each time they visit the market. There is a chance they may win the entire contents of the Barrow, but for certain they will be contributing to the ongoing success of the market and supporting our local community.”