Lack of volunteers putting show at risk

South Otago A&P Society president Bridget Lowry is seeking additional volunteers to help run...
South Otago A&P Society president Bridget Lowry is seeking additional volunteers to help run several elements of the society’s annual show day in November. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
A growing southern A&P show many not go ahead this year unless additional volunteers can be found.

South Otago A&P Society president Bridget Lowry issued an open letter to the community this week, explaining the volunteer pool for the society’s annual show needed to be "refreshed" with new ideas and people.

Mrs Lowry told the Otago Daily Times the growing popularity of the show, combined with an ageing committee, meant things were at breaking point.

"It’s getting to the stage now where, without help, [running the show] is becoming too heavy for our shoulders, which is leading some of our older volunteers to step away.

"This is an event for the community, and we’d encourage the community to step up and join us in helping make great memories for people.

"It would be a huge blow if we simply couldn’t make it work for want of some extra manpower."

Mrs Lowry said the show — in the last week of November — had grown in popularity during recent years. It attracted about 4000 visitors last year.

She put the increase down to combining traditional show elements with more "modern" sideshows and attractions, including many that were free for children.

The show also offered free entry for under-16s.

Although the situation was touch and go, she believed it could be saved with the help of about a dozen "community-minded" people.

"This isn’t a committee recruitment drive. We’re after people who perhaps have a passion for a particular event or attraction, or have particular skills they feel they might be able to offer, so they can adopt a specific show element.

"For example, we couldn’t run our usual goat section last year; we need someone who can help set up for our trades; and we need a convener and stewards for our horse section, which is hugely popular."

Although the event had many generous sponsors, they required overseeing, she said.

"If someone wanted to take on sponsorship development, that would be amazing."

She said the society and show had helped her make contacts and new friends within the community since she arrived in South Otago six years ago.

Potential volunteers could email her on for more information.