INFORMATION FOR ATTENDEES
This was sent out as a mailing in previous years; as a number of you have bought your tickets through the theatre, it's impractical to send you a hard copy this time, so we hope you're OK with reading it on the website!
The event starts at 10 a.m. and will close at 5.30 p.m. We’re looking forward to seeing you.
Bedford Who Charity Con, as you might guess, is a charity convention. All the profits are going to Bedford Foodbank, one of a national network of foodbanks affiliated to the Trussel Trust. The organisers make no money from this; once our costs are covered, everything else goes to the charity. Bedford Foodbank is supported by local churches and the local humanist association; it provides emergency food for local people in crisis. And thanks very much for coming, and for supporting them!
There’ll be interviews on stage with the guests; the chance to meet them, have your photo taken with them, and get their autographs; dealers selling Who-related memorabilia; the added attraction of meeting the Daleks, and lots of other fun things.
If you’d like to come in costume, we’d love to see you. There’ll be a competition for best costume, with prizes awarded by the guests (four categories: Under 10s, 10 to 14 year olds, 14-18s, and over 18s).
As Vicki will be there, all Menoptra are particularly welcome. Zarbi aren't, because they won't fit into the seats.
Some guests will ask for payment for autographs; we’ll update with details as soon as we have them. The convention organisers will not, though, be imposing any surprise charges once you arrive: your entrance ticket covers everything, i.e. it gives you access to all the events, presentations and so on.
There'll be the opportunity for you to be photographed with the guests around our TARDIS console (kindly supplied by David Nagel) in exchange for a donation to the charity.
LUNCH: The Quarry Theatre has a cafe and bar but unfortunately cannot sell meals. Please bring your own lunch or buy it from one of the nearby shops. Lots of places to choose from; there is also a Lidl in the same street as the theatre.
The Quarry Theatre was formerly St Luke's United Reformed Church. It's in the heart of the town and has been recently completely refurbished as a theatre complex. There are two auditoriums, a bar / cafe area, and a garden. It's a lovely venue and we're sure you'll like it. We'll be using the larger auditorium for the staged bits and the other activities will take place around the complex, including the garden if the weather is kind to us.
The Theatre itself has no parking; for details of where best to park, please see the 'How to get there' page.
We'd be very grateful to receive any donations in kind for the Foodbank -- but it's important to stress that you mustn't feel you have to bring anything. Your presence is itself supporting the Foodbank and we're really grateful to you for coming.
The Foodbank feeds 500 people every month, so it does need a lot of food to keep it going. On top of that, the cost in cash to the Foodbank is around £7 per person fed.
(This bit's written by Simon Danes, the con organiser, who's one of the Foodbank's volunteers. He's -- I'm now going to switch to the first person!)
We’d be very grateful to receive any food donations for Bedford Foodbank.
We'll also be collecting coins in foreign currency, so if you have change rattling in your drawers from your last holiday, and you'd like to give it to us, please do! We can convert it into sterling. Thanks!
We're always running low on nappies (especially the large sizes), toiletries, and women's sanitary products. These can be rather more expensive than food; if you can afford to donate some, though, they'd be put to good use.
Things like pots, pans, mugs, cutlery, wooden spoons and spatulas, plates and cereal bowls are always in short supply, too. They don't have to be new; just in good condition.
So, here's a list of food and toiletries we need. Food needs to be non-perishable, so it can be stored, and needs to be well within its sell-by date.
Milk (UHT )
Fruit Juice (carton)
Soup (tinned/cup soup)
Vegetables and fruit (tinned), including potatoes and
Rice Pudding (tinned)
Tea Bags / instant coffee
Meat / fish (tinned)
Jam / marmalade
Biscuits or snack bars
And of toiletries and sundries:
Soap and shower gel
Shampoo and conditioner
Razors and shaving foam
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Washing up liquid and laundry liquid
House cleaning products
More about Bedford Foodbank, the charity supported by Bedford Who Charity Con 3:
Bedford Foodbank currently provides emergency food for some 500 children and adults every month in the Bedford area. Clients are referred to us by agencies such as GPs, Citizens’ Advice, the Job Centre, YMCA and so on, to ensure they’re genuinely in need. They receive three days’ supplies; the combination of food supplied is specified by nutritionists to ensure it’s balanced. We also provide toiletries, toilet paper, nappies and women’s sanitary products when they’re needed.
I meet with clients when helping with the food distribution. I can’t give specific details, though I can say that the reasons for their falling into poverty are often really heart-rending. There are those who’ve just been re-located to the area because they’ve had to run away, with their children, to leave a partner who gets his kicks from beating them up. I recently met a single parent with a two-year old, who’s just had the bailiffs in. They took everything, except the sofa and the TV. Her total debt was just £700. Some of our clients live in tents (and I even met one guy who’s living in a shed) because they can’t get anywhere else. And literally hundreds come to us because they’re on low wages or zero hours contracts and find there’s too much month left at the end of the money; or they have to wait weeks for their benefits to come through because that’s how the system works.
It’s worth reiterating that it’s emergency food we supply; we help to get people back on their feet by referring them to agencies who can help them manage their debts or who provide benefits counselling, and so on.
Needless to say, we’re hugely grateful for any help you can give. Thank you for coming and thank you for your support.