Swindon Rainbow Fete Returns

By Jamie Hill - 6 September 2023

Arts and CultureCharity

This Sunday sees the return of the Rainbow Fete, a family fun day packed with live music and DJs, crafts, home-made cakes, face painting and a wellness area.

With the motto ‘A day of celebration, solidarity and pride’, the second Rainbow Fete is being jointly organised by the Olive Tree Cafe and TWIGS community gardens to promote a culture of inclusion and to support members of the LGBTQ communities who volunteer, work and live in and around Swindon.

Phyllida Richards, manager at the Olive Tree Cafe, says that volunteers who run the community cafe were the inspiration behind the fete. “When we heard last year that Swindon Pride might not be taking place, lots of our LGBTQ volunteers were keen to put on an event to welcome everyone into our community. That’s how the Rainbow Fete was born.”

“We have such a diverse group of staff, customers and volunteers, it made sense to all of us to fly the flag of inclusion - our focus here is on making everyone feel welcome and part of our family” she added. 

As well as stalls with local crafts and produce, a wellness area featuring relaxation, yoga and meditation is being set up in neighbouring Twigs community gardens.

Twigs manager Alan Holland says that the Rainbow Fete is a great opportunity to showcase the gardens and everything the volunteers have achieved.

“It’s always beautiful and relaxing to walk round the different areas we’ve created” he says. “Using some of these calm spaces to offer all kinds of wellness activity and therapy makes perfect sense. We’re delighted to link up with Rainbow Fete and open our doors to all communities from around Swindon.”

The fete will take place on Sunday 10 September from 11am to 4pm - entry is £4 for adults and free for children, which includes access to events in both Olive Tree Cafe and Twigs.

There will be non-stop live music in the Olive Tree Cafe from Swindon artists including Copper Creek, Rob Beckinsale, Chloe Hepburn and Frog Prince; DJs will be performing in the Twigs walled garden.

Both Twigs and the Olive Tree Cafe are based at the Manor Garden Centre in Cheney Manor - TWIGS community garden runs gardening, wellness and craft activities to give people who experience mental health problems the chance to regain confidence, self-esteem and to learn new skills.

The Olive Tree Cafe calls itself ‘a place to believe in yourself again’ and offers help and support for people recovering from mental illness or at risk of suffering mental illness.

The event aims to raise much needed funds - all profits will be shared between Swindon & Wiltshire Pride and Out of the Can.

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