Our Eid in the Woods event was held on the 3rd September 2017 to coincide with Eid Al-Adha, the Muslim festival that celebrates the completion of Hajj..
The day was planned to bring the local Muslim and Non-Muslim community together to learn about the Hajj and to celebrate the day of Eid in a woodland environment. The aims for the event were to engage people in a woodland environment and to highlight the significance of Eid. We brought together over 400* people from a wide variety of cultures and communities and shared this space to celebrate Eid Al-Adha. Our venue for the event was Callendar Park Arboretum and Callendar Woods which offered a great backdrop and for many was their first time visiting these woodland spaces.
The event was very successful with a great turn out and positive feedback across the board from members of the public, organisers and activity providers. Over 400* people attended the event and participated in activities like a treasure hunt, arts and crafts, storytelling, face painting, foraging, forest bathing, outdoor cooking, woodland games as well as traditional Hajj rituals. There were a variety of organisations present on the day to offer their activities and information including Recyke-a-bike, Central Scotland Regional Equality Council, Trossachs Search and Rescue Service, Al Masaar and Forestry Commission Scotland.
Al Masaar were responsible for the general running and provision of the event with support and funding from Forestry Commission Scotland. On the day we received great support from a team of volunteers which helped the day to run smoothly.
As well as the local community attending the event we also had groups attend from Glasgow and further afield in Greenock, including the Inverclyde Health and Social Care partnership who provided transport for members of their community to attend the event and celebrate Eid. We also had a group from the Maryhill integration Network in Glasgow visit as they were keen to join in the celebration of Eid.
There was clear demand for an event of this kind, with many supporting the format and keen to establish this as an annual event. With this event being open to the public we were able to engage with many people who had never experienced an Eid celebration and for many they had not known much about the celebration, this gave us the opportunity to share our traditions and celebrate with the wider community, bringing people together.
The budget and general breakdown of the event has been detailed in this report as well as comments from the people that attended.
*Approximate figure based on a tally of people present at various times during the time of the event.
Event Budget and Costs
|The total cost for the Eid in the Woods Event was £2319.88
This figure does not include in kind contributions and hours spent prior to event planning.
The breakdown of costs is listed below.
|Activities and Freelancers||Costs|
|– Glasgow Steiner Community Arts and Crafts||£200|
|– Enchanted Brush Face painting||£300|
|– Nicola Lawton Fire Performer||£136|
|– Operation Play Outdoors (£300 Staff Cost for 2x OpOut staff members and £80 for event logistics day before event)||£380|
|– Village Storytelling||£207|
|– Diversity Arts Henna||£260|
|– Qasida Performance||£40|
|Total Activity Cost||£1523|
|Cups, Firewood, Marshmallows, Skewers, Bamboo Sticks, Zip Ties, Leaflets and Leaflet Design, Bunting||£217.60|
|Kaaba Design and Structure||£250|
|Total Material Cost||£467.60|
|Facebook Advertising, Posters||£77|
|Total Advertising Cost||£337|
|(Not invoiced yet) Venue Cost||£0.00|
|Total Event Cost||£2302.60|
In Kind Contributions
Our organisation Al Masaar, gave a lot of time in kind to this project in order to help it succeed. We had the kind support of a team of volunteers on the day of the event to help set things up and take down as well as help with the smooth running of activities.
We also had the support of various organisations who were present on the day and did not charge for their presence. These included a stall for our organisation Al Masaar, Forestry Commission Scotland’s Stall and team, CSREC and their staff and The Trossachs Search and Rescue Team. We were also due to have the RSPB present on the day, unfortunately they had to pull out last minute due to overbookings with other events.
We 15 volunteers who came at in the morning and most stayed to help clean up. They helped with set up, management of different areas and conducted feedback evaluations. In total the number of hours given in kind on the day was around 120. In addition, Al Masaar sourced three gazebos, some decorations and information posters and organised refreshments for the day. Also, Al Masaar provided refreshments and snacks (at affordable prices), Zam Zam water and covered volunteer costs of the day.
What feedback did you gather?
On the day, we received lots of great feedback from participants, members of the public and activity providers. We gathered feedback through volunteers who spoke to people present at the event. We also collated feedback from our social media feeds and email responses.
Feedback forms were used on the day to gather information. Below are the questions and main answers given by the public:
- Reasons for attending were mainly:
- To spend time with friends/family.
- I know someone participating in it.
- I found the description interesting.
- I enjoy outdoor festivals.
- How did you find out about Eid in the Woods:
- A colleague/friend told me about it
- To what extend do you agree or disagree with the following statements?
We also conducted an equal opportunities monitoring survey. Although the quantity was responses was minimal, this snapshot showed that we reached multiple ethnic groups across different religions and age groups. This shows that we were able to attract a wide variety of people, which was part of our aim.
Feedback from our social media, emails and comments on surveys:
- “My girls enjoyed themselves so much, really well organised and activity packed. Def will be back next year Insh’Allah. Thank you so much to the organisers, volunteers and all the other people involved in making the event superb. Keep up the good work. Also post info on here how to get involved in the forestry etc…”
- “Wild food -soup- and foraging was very welcome. Like the music and activities for kids. More marshmallows please “
- “Hi Thanks for putting on Eid in the Woods today. Fabulous fun and brilliantly organised. Falkirk is very lucky to have these events. Pease keep up the good work. Sam and Family.” Sam Aitken
- CSREC: “From the feedback received everyone seemed to really enjoy the day. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to promote our work on the day. More than a few people mentioned that they particularly enjoyed the woodland setting which gave the event more of a ‘community’ feel.”
- Recyke-a-Bike: “Thanks for inviting us to a really well organised and attended event. We really enjoyed it.”
- Maryhill Integration Network: They all had a great time and really enjoyed all the activities for the kids.
- Trossachs Search and Rescue: “A wonderful event, Thank you”
Did you achieve your aims and objectives?
Our objective was to bring a diverse population of the local community and surrounding areas to enjoy an activity and information based family day within a woodland setting. From observing the range and diverse backgrounds of guests, we believe that the event was successful. Different people with and without children complemented the setup, the activities and almost demanded that we do this again next year (comments to Sofia and Farah). We aimed to increase the awareness of the Hajj rituals and why we celebrate as well as highlight the similarities in different Abrahamic faiths. This provided a platform to break down barriers of negative misconceptions about Muslims and promoted unity. People were surprised to learn about the miracle of Zam Zam and that they could actually taste the holy water on the day- a first for many non-Muslims. Overall, we believe that this was a groundbreaking event that was well received by the public and with scope for development for future.
The event in general was successful in its aims and objectives however there were many other successes on the day which were a pleasant surprise:
- The Trossachs Search and Rescue team successfully trained 62 people in CPR.
- Members of public learned from the CSREC Communities for Conservation project.
- Members of the public who were out for a morning walk in the Park, paid us an unplanned visit in the woods. They got intrigued by the children volunteering decorations and pavement drawings and decided to walk up and were pleasantly surprised at what was going on. We spoke to members of the public around the Kiosk and surrounding areas about what we were doing, the Eid celebration and woodland activities and they were very receptive.
Comments from Sofia Akbar, Al Masaar Representative.
“Eid in the Woods had a unique, positive and serene feel to it. We had so many volunteers as young as 8 keen to be a part of the original festive event and so proud to show off their celebration and share their faith. It was pleasant, informative, active and intriguing. The pictures of the paved paths illustrate who the creativity in young people came out in their freedom to express their joy and celebration. Several visitors asked if we would organise this event next year.
One highlight for Al Masaar was the public presentation of the John Muir Awards to the child hand young people who participated in our summer programme. The public recognition gave it more value and boosted the confidence of the young people who otherwise would not have participated in such outdoor adventures had it not been facilitated by the coordination of Al Masaar and Forestry Commission. Eid in Woods 2017 event