A little Bit of Everything
A Little Bit of Everything or "LBE" as it is known was created in 1975 by three ladies who wanted to help to make life easier for children with disabilities and their parents and carers. Eileen Collier, Jean Godwin and Joan Eade had all been active parents helping with Scout jumble sales for many years but felt their energies could be put to a greater need. Six months down the line Jean Knox joined the team with her expertise in clothes as opposed to the bric-a-brac which the other ladies had an eye-for.
They originally had stalls in Durrants Park (for the Enfield Carnival) and Broomfield Park (The Southgate Carnival) to sell items donated by local people. The stalls were run by rota for the whole weekend come rain or shine – which as you can imagine it did!
The team also organised two large sales a year at St Peters Church Hall, Grange Park, London N21. For those who have never visited the sale, despite it being a MUST, clothes take up one hall, all previously sorted and arranged, and bric-a-brac in another. Eileen Collier also, in the very early days, got an eye for quality items and took a stall each month at the Collectors Fair in order to sell items at a higher price.
They were also offered the use of a shop in Palmers Green, rent free, where everyone rallied to take their turn in working in the shop, many people donated and bought at the same time. It was very successful and made about £10,000 in only a few weeks, which is a lot of money now but even more then. It was probably the start of what we now know as ‘Charity Shops’.
All this effort over thirty five years has paid off to raise over £100,000 for children that desparately need our help.
Since the beginning, the team has changed as Joan Eade has moved away from the area and Jean Knox sadly passed away. Her daughter Ann Humphrey now looks after the clothes side of the sales.
Here the members of A little Bit of Everything tell us how the group came about and some of the stories along the way.
There are too many individual children to mention them all that have benefited from "LBE" over the years. The first project was a hoist for the children to get in and out of the swimming pool at the National Children’s Home in Harpenden. In 1975 it cost £500 and the last sale, which was on the 23rd October 2010 raised £2,400. £1,000 of this is going to Noah’s Arc hospice to buy a tracking system for a specific child to be able to get from his bedroom to playroom independently and also for Christmas presents for children with disabilities such as hearing aids etc.
Over the years “A Little Bit of Everything” has purchased many wheelchairs, customised bikes and trikes, specialist equipment for blind and deaf children, lying and standing frames, special beds, computers and maths equipment to name but a few, all intended to help those less fortunate than ourselves.