Northumberland Day 2022 is set to put the focus on community and fun, with the official county day celebration this year taking place on Sunday May 29 and looking forward to being the first ‘normal’ Northumberland Day since 2019.
The big initiative for this year is the Northumberland Day Food Bank Challenge and FB Cup – something that aims to assist those in the county struggling with the cost of living crisis and needing to call upon the assistance of the county’s food banks.
The Northumberland Day Food Bank Challenge asks Northumbrians to do something very simple – focusing on red and yellow foods that they could donate to a food bank. The Northumberland Day website, at www.northumberlandday.co.uk gives suggestions but there are a load of choices to make, as proud Northumbrians link the county colours to helping others.
To give a real boost to the food bank donations, however, Northumberland Day organisers have innovatively added a competitive element, via the FB Cup. This is the food bank version of the FA Cup and it sees different ‘teams’ (grouped towns and villages) competing against each other, to see which can generate the most red and yellow donations to food banks.
Each week, one team will get knocked out, until the most generous community team wins the challenge and scoops the FB Cup.
Round one will kick off on May 16th and will see 8 ‘matches’. Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge have been drawn against Warkworth and Amble, for instance. Berwick and Border will play Morpeth and Pegswood. Another six ties will be played out and the team that shows evidence of donating most to foodbanks will win each one, progressing to the second round. The final will take place in week beginning June 6, when just two teams remain.
This challenge is something that can involve individuals, families, businesses, schools and community groups and is something that should be a lot of competitive fun, as communities try to get their team through to the final, purely through generosity and thinking of others.
“We want to see pictures of people donating red and yellow items and hear what it is they are donating and which team they are playing for,” says organiser Jane Hunt. “We want to see schools rallying their pupils, businesses and hotels mobilising their staff and kitchens and individuals playing for their ‘team’. Donations can be made to any food bank and those donating just need to make sure they can get their donations to their chosen food bank, or have them collected, and, of course, let us know what they have donated, so it can go onto their team’s tally. The ultimate winner will receive a trophy – something any community should be proud to win, as it will demonstrate their kindness and generous spirit.”
Details of how to compete are at the dedicated page at www.northumberlandday.co.uk
Northumberland Day has also organised a Scarecrow Competition for 2022, with great prizes for three winning scarecrows, which can be themed as Saints, Seafarers or Awesome Others. Scarecrows can be created by individuals, schools, businesses or communities, to add to the celebrations.
After last year’s immensely popular ‘Letter to Northumbear’ competition, which saw hundreds of entries from schools across the county, there is this year another Northumbear’s Writing Contest. The loveable Northumberland Day mascot is looking for some great work from schoolchildren across the county once more and will again be awarding much-coveted trophies to the best.
There is also a Northumbear’s Apprentices ‘What is it? Where is it?’ challenge, which asks competitors to work out what certain items on a list are and where they could find them in the county. Again, an attractive prize is on offer.
The much-loved Northumbies Awards are also returning this year, with glass artist, Helen Grierson, based in Broomhill, again designing the bespoke Northumberland Day awards that have thrilled so many past winners. Northumbies categories for 2022 will be for Best Community Involvement, Best Foodie-themed Celebration, Best Hospitality, Tourism or Retail Outlet, Above and Beyond Special Recognition Award and the Jill Bradbury Award for Most Passionate School.
There will also be a prize for the winner of the annual Northumberland Flag Challenge, which asks Northumbrians to be pictured with the county flag in unusual or far-flung locations.
Jane Hunt, says, “We are continuing to drive Northumberland Day as a volunteer-run initiative, because we know how much people love it and the difference it makes to schools and our young citizens, in particular. We just urge everyone to get involved and strengthen their communities by doing so. It’s so easy to do and can be extremely uplifting. We have no financial resource and little manpower here, so please help us out by doing what you can to get involved. Past years have been great fun and we hope 2022 can be just the same. We want to show that Northumberland is one passionate community.”
To find out more, head to www.northumberlandday.co.uk and follow on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
Notes to Editors
The draw for round one of the FB Cup is:
Warkworth and Amble v Haltwhistle and Haydon Bridge
Chillingham and Wooler v Ponteland and Belsay
Berwick and Border v Morpeth and Pegswood
Ashington and Ellington v Blyth, Bedlington and Cramlington
Hexham and Corbridge v Rothbury, Otterburn and Bellingham
Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Lynemouth v Alnwick and Alnmouth
Boulmer, Craster, Howick and Newton-by-the-Sea v Seahouses, Beadnell, Bamburgh and Holy Island
Prudhoe, Ovingham and Heddon v Longhorseley, Longframlington and Felton
Between May 16 and May 30, red and yellow food donations to food banks can be listed, photographed and notified to FBCup@northumberlandday.co.uk with the donator stating which team they are playing for. The team in each tie which generates the most donations will go through to the next round, with weekly contests until the winner is crowned.
Donations can be made to any food bank and people can choose to play for whichever team they wish.
Details of the Scarecrow competition are at the Scarecrow page at www.northumberlandday.co.uk
Details of the Northumbies are at the Northumbies page.
Details of the school writing contest are in the 2022 Zone at www.northumberlandday.co.uk
Details of the Northumbear’s Apprentices challenge are on the page of that name (for entrants) and in the 2022 Zone.