Jake is PM’s hero for saving Leafield village fete

Witney Gazette: Jake Acock,15, organised his village fete. Picture: OX59849 Antony Moore Jake Acock,15, organised his village fete. Picture: OX59849 Antony Moore

A TEENAGER has won praise from David Cameron after getting his community together to restart a village fete.

Jake Acock, 15, felt he had nothing to look forward to after Christmas and fondly remembered attending Leafield fete as a child.

He put up posters to gather support, organised a village meeting and now has the support of businesses and the parish council as well as the Prime Minister.

The fete, which was last held in 2009, will take place on The Green on Sunday, June 30, between 2pm and 4.30pm.

Mr Cameron, the MP for Witney, said: “I was delighted to hear that the Leafield summer fete is returning thanks to the admirable enthusiasm of Jake.

“Sometimes I point to West Oxfordshire as a classic place where people are already involved in what I call the ‘Big Society’ where many people do so much to help each other in the community.

“It is great to see a village working hard to preserve its traditions. And, in this case, it is wonderful that a teenage boy is leading the way.”

Jake, who attends Burford School, said: “I really want to keep Leafield as a success, a village with traditions and where we can really keep things going.

“I know a lot of teenagers just do their exams and do not help the community, but I feel like I am actually doing something which is good.

“After Christmas was over earlier this year I realised we had nothing to look forward to.

“I have always enjoyed the fete and believe it is a strong village tradition. But we have not had many people interested in helping and willing to put it on.

“I felt, well, I will give it a go this year, and put up a few posters around the village.”

He added: “Now I know David Cameron is behind the fete, it is a great boost. I feel that I can definitely achieve a very successful event.”

Jake’s mum, Jane Padbury, said: “I am very proud of him. I cannot believe someone his age wants to get these things done.”

Leafield Parish Council clerk Jane Denton said: “For Jake to turn around and say I am going to do something that will benefit the whole village is fantastic.”

She said the fete had stopped because fewer and fewer people were stepping forward to run it. The final year only had a couple of organisers.

The event will feature Wallingford handbell ringers Gay and Alan Cooper, who appeared on TV show Britain’s Got Talent, an owl display, cake competition, tug of war, egg throwing, dog show, and cake and plant stalls.

Jake hopes about 500 people will go along.

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