The President’s Charity

A message from 2022 President Michelle Lee

I am delighted to have been retained as the President of the Tockwith & District Agricultural
Society for 2022, after my original year (2020) and then 2021 were disrupted by Covid
restrictions. I was very excited to be President as we celebrated 75 years of the Society; I’m
now looking forward to the 73 rd Show on 7 th August, where I will, eventually, discharge all my
responsibilities!


I have lived in Tockwith for almost 30 years, and joined the TADAS Committee in the early
Noughties, like most, thanks to Norman Waller and Sam Blacker. I started out overseeing cakes
and jam (Produce & Preserves), and took on the Treasurer’s role, when David Padgett retired
from the committee. As we chartered new territory, literally in buying our own field, I was one
of the early Directors of our limited company and a trustee of our Charity. 


You’ll probably have seen me over the past 15+ years in the Secretary’s tent on Show Day, as
Treasurer, then Trophy Steward and more recently in a co-ordination role, supported by my
partner Paul. The Secretary’s tent is a fabulous focal point to see and hear all the fun,
enjoyment and appreciation that our exhibitors, judges and visitors experience year in-year
out. This is all down to hard work, commitment and organisation of our committee/volunteers
through the year, especially the run up to the big day itself. I’m always truly amazed and
inspired. I’m looking forward to a temporary move to the President’s tent next door!


Throughout my involvement, and I guess in the 77 years since 1945, the Society has taken a
pragmatic, forward-looking approach to ensuring there is broad appeal to educate and
entertain. At times we’ve taken some significant (and polite, well-debated) decisions like
investments, changing days and cancelling events, including our measured response to the
impact of Covid in 2020 and 2021 (via Zoom). The support of our Friends, the established
good-will from contacts across the District and of course the strong team-work of our “army” of
helpers, are cornerstones of our longevity.


My charity for the year remains Diabetes UK – it is a cause close to my heart as I have type 1
diabetes. When first diagnosed, in my mid-20s, I was uncertain about what lay in store. My
consultant was encouraging and explained that I wasn’t poorly or ill, but that, with a little care
and attention, I would be able to positively manage my condition and lead a normal and
fulfilling life. His words inspired me, and he was right (well, so far at least!). My nephew was
also diagnosed with the same condition on the eve of his 17 th  birthday. 


It’s surprising – diabetes, in its various types, affects around 1 in 15 people across the world;
you probably know at least one person in your family or social circle who has the condition.
Raising money can help to support affected people, develop new treatments and fund research
that one day might lead to a cure. But what’s equally important to me is raising awareness –
 knowing the symptoms for prompt diagnosis – often it’s the complications of sustained
high blood sugar that cause problems.


 there may be up to 1 million adults in the UK who have diabetes but don’t yet know it
 understanding how it can be successfully managed as part of a balanced lifestyle
In March 2020, just as the word “lockdown” was looming on the PM’s lips, I hosted a Black Tie
Dinner – 77 people wined, dined and danced their way to raising £1500 for my Charity whilst
celebrating 75 years of the Show Society. Given subsequent restrictions, it has been difficult to plan fund-raising activities with any certainty, though I hope to do something before the Show
in August – watch this space!


Michelle

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