A special Isle of Wight Day weekend will be held in September, to thank thousands of Islanders who volunteered their services during the pandemic, as well as remembering hundreds of lives lost on the Island.
From Friday, September 10 until Sunday, September 12, a special weekend of remembrance and thanks will begin with a civic service of remembrance on Friday.
The Island’s Lord Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon, who was behind the plans will preside over the service at the Minster in Newport, which will be conducted by the Archdeacon, The Venerable Peter Leonard.
The service will remember the 300 Islanders that we have sadly lost through Covid over the past 16 months.
The Lord Lieutenant said:
“It is particularly appropriate this year that we should all get together for Isle of Wight Day. The last year and a half has been very tough but we have much to celebrate. The Island community has shown how it can pull together and Isle of Wight Day this year is especially highlighting and thanking our many volunteers.
"I hope to attend as many events taking place over the weekend of September 10-12 as I possibly can. The whole ethos of Isle of Wight Day, and indeed Walk the Wight, is that of celebrating what we can do so well as a united community on the Island. I am delighted to be part of it."
On Saturday, September 11, the annual Isle of Wight Day celebrations will return, when all Island residents are encouraged to come together to celebrate the Isle of Wight, with this year’s focus on thanking the thousands of volunteers who have supported the Island through the pandemic.
While the centre of celebrations will take place at Carisbrooke Castle, Island communities are encouraged to stage their own local events across the Island.
Entry to the family fun day at Carisbrooke Castle on Saturday will cost just £1, with coronavirus volunteers entitled to enter for free. More details of activities will be announced in the coming weeks.
Robin Courage, the founder of Isle of Wight Day said:
“Isle of Wight Day was always designed as a day of celebration for our wonderful Island and this year’s special day will also provide an opportunity for all our communities to come together to say a huge thank you to the thousands of incredible volunteers, who have done so much to help us to get through this very difficult time.
"Massive thanks also to David Bailey and his team at English Heritage for once again so generously making entry to the wonders of Carisbrooke Castle affordable to all Islanders on this special day."
Community Action Isle of Wight, which has been supporting many community based Covid support groups and providing volunteers for vaccination centre sites, is helping Isle of Wight Day say thank you to volunteers.
CEO Mike Bulpitt said:
“The Island always benefits from the huge commitment of volunteers, year in year out, but the Covid crisis has seen an even greater response, which needs to be recognised and celebrated."
The weekend’s celebrations will continue on Sunday, September 12 with the staging of the iconic Mountbatten Walk the Wight, one of the largest walks of its kind.
The annual fundraiser was rescheduled from its regular date in May due to Covid restrictions and this year Mountbatten is hoping for a record-breaking turnout.
Nigel Hartley CEO of Mountbatten said:
“When we were forced to reschedule this year’s Walk the Wight we did not expect it to coincide with the Isle of Wight Day celebrations, so we are hugely grateful to the Lord Lieutenant for arranging for this fitting weekend of remembrance and celebrations."
To conclude the weekend, the annual Songs of Praise concert with the Isle of Wight Symphony Orchestra and choirs will take place at Cowes Enterprise College on the afternoon of Sunday, September 12.
Islanders will be able to say their own thank yous, by hanging out Isle of Wight Day bunting.