VOLUNTEERS are needed to come forward to save Otley’s Victorian Fayre.

Organisers have said that without enough new committee members and volunteers the 2024 Otley Victorian Fayre will not be able to go ahead. They are holding an open meeting on January 31 for local people to find out more and get involved.

The 36th Victorian Fayre took place on December 3, 2023, and thousands of visitors enjoyed the popular mix of stalls, music and entertainment.

Work will soon need to start on the 2024 Fayre, and without more committee members to organise the event, its future is uncertain.

Rachel Marshall, Chair of the Victorian Fayre Committee, said: “While the Fayre takes place on just one Sunday in December, the planning and work to make it happen takes place over many months, requiring regular meetings, a social media campaign, booking entertainers and stalls, organising road closures, financial management and fundraising.”

A new committee was formed in 2023, when Otley Town Partnership stepped away from organising the Victorian Fayre.

Rachel said: “None of us had organised an event on this scale before, and we are incredibly proud that the 2023 Fayre was a success and enjoyed by so many people.”

However, a number of the current committee volunteers have now stepped down as they are unable to continue to offer the level of commitment required to successfully run this event.

Rachel said: “Sadly, the fact is that the 2024 Victorian Fayre will not go ahead without enough new committee members being found. Simply put, an event of this size and complexity cannot continue to be organised and run safely and sustainably by such a small team of volunteers.

“If there was a larger committee, and new committee volunteers with relevant skills and experience, the workload would be more manageable for everyone, and the future of the Fayre would be secured to look ahead to future years.”

Ilkley Gazette: Crowds at Otley Victorian FayreCrowds at Otley Victorian Fayre (Image: submitted)

The outgoing committee members will provide a full handover to share the learning and advice gained from planning and delivering a successful event in 2023, and some committee members are staying on and will support the transition to a new committee.

There is also a need for more local volunteers on the day of the Fayre.

Rachel added: “We know how much people love the Fayre, so it was disappointing that there was so little response to calls for volunteers.

“We hope that those who love the Fayre and want it to continue will consider getting involved in the committee or as a volunteer on the day and come along to the meeting on 31 January to find out more.”

An open meeting will be held at 7pm, Wednesday 31 January at Otley Town Partnership office, 1A Mercury Row, Otley.

Those unable to attend can email enquiries@victorianfayre.co.uk.