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Why I sponsored the Henley Living Advent Calendar


Baa05mPIUAA6WFoThis week the Living Advent calendar won a Big Society Award.  A gift of prestige and acknowledgment, and from Downing Street, no less.

As you know the Living Advent Calendar is a chance to peek into a window and see a surprise performance – from swell singers, accordion players to a rendition of the 3 little pigs that most will never forget.  We arrive expectant and leave fulfilled, perhaps with a belly full of mince pies and mulled wine.

It’s the spirit of Christmas, for sure.

BbtOfOXIAAEH1asNiki Schafer Interior Design sponsored the event last night and I was delighted to see well over 100 people come to see the performance by the Acorn Theatre Group.  Of course the audience didn’t know that at the time, and so the characters creeping through them was a genuine surprise.  Incorporating the audience into the act was also unexpected (and my daughter loved being part of the show – thank you!).

Well done Acorns! You were all fabulous.  (I also think the narrator has a very bright future on the stage and the casting of the wolf was a stroke of genius.)


It’s not just the performances on the night though but the consistency of the ‘performers’ who set up, collect money, promote and re-tweet (take note!) that has contributed to this event being such a success.  The MCs (well done Sam Evans town councillor and director of Humphreys of Henley for doing so many!) Hugh the lighting chap and Keith Douglas with his raffle tickets are out night after night come rain or clear sky.

It’s worthy of note.


BboEsE-IgAAOfADOf course, huge credit needs to go to Julie Perigo whose idea this was in the first place.  She’s been behind this plan for more than three years and the accomplishments and awards it has won this year are a credit to her tenacity and her vision.

Take note, entrepreneurs – see how long it takes a new idea to spread.  Even in a town as relatively small as ours, it takes years before momentum builds.  An audience needs to have heard about it, maybe feel a little envy for not having gone to an earlier event, maybe be convinced by an ‘early adopter’ before they will venture out during their genuinely precious family time on a potentially miserable night.  It takes promotion to get people to act.

Which is why we sponsors have been involved, so that not only can we be involved in such a community spirited event but also be proud to pass on the word about the people, the performers and the charities involved.

Bbd10WQIUAAbNQYSo please, do spread the news.  The events are wonderful, the home made hot cider and biscuits all the way from Germany were rather delicious (if I say so myself) and the idea that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well is a joy to behold.

Merry Christmas everyone!



Niki Schafer Interior Design proudly sponsored the Acorn Theatre Group’s Performance at the Henley College on the 17th December 2013.

Funds raised go towards:

Ocean’s Project –, Regatta for the Disabled, British Legion Poppy Appeal & Henley Youth Club

Major Sponsors are:

Sothebys, Best of Henley, The Head Partnership, Bremont & Towergate Insurance

Other 2013 sponsors and venues were/will be:

  1. The Town Hall + Bremont
  2. Henley Fire Station + The Argyll
  3. Regal Picturehouse + Waitrose
  4. Hobbs New Orleans + Chocolate Theatre Café
  5. River & Rowing Museum + Sothebys International Realty
  6. Friday Street & Queen Street Corner + The Anchor
  7. Leander Club + Brakspear
  8. Phyllis Court + Boatique / Henley Sales & Charter
  9. Stuart Turner + The Henley Brewhouse
  10. Shaun Dickens Restaurant + Henmans Freeth
  11. Angel on the Bridge + Copas Turkeys
  12. Best of Henley + Lawlor’s Bakery
  13. The Communications Group (The Hub) + Fidelity Group
  14. Henley Youth Centre + In The Groove Records
  15. The Bull + County Douglas Law
  16. Hotel du Vin + Precious Love
  17. Henley College + Niki Schafer Interior Design
  18. Simmons & Sons + Elizabeth Cleall Interiors
  19. Delegate Office Services + Kench & Co Ltd.
  20. Lovibonds Brewery + Henley Shutters
  21. Market Place + The Square Restaurant
  22. Market Place + The Green Olive
  23. Kenton Theatre + Bell Book Shop
  24. Saint Mary’s Church
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