GET your popcorn ready and dress to impress, as next year's Woodley Community Carnival will be taking to the big screen.

The carnival committee have decided the theme for the 2019 event will be 'At The Movies' following the huge success of this year's event.

Dozens of people attended a launch party at The Oakwood Centre on Wednesday evening and four charities received an even share of £7,000.

Peter Jacobs, chairman of the committee, said: "To be able to put on a carnival of this size every year is amazing.

"The reason it is such a success is because everyone in the community is behind us. Without that support, it just does not happen.

"Woodley has great community spirit and as long as Woodley wants a carnival, we are here to deliver it.

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"We do what we do just because it is a pleasure and it is good for the community. We are quite passionate about it."

The carnival first took place in 1960 to help raise funds for a youth centre and continues to be at the heart of the community.

Various groups and charities use the event as a way of fundraising, or gathering interest from residents, with as many as 8,000 people attending in 2018.

Woodley Foodbank, Me2 Club, Just Around the Corner and Woodley Community First Responders were all presented with cheques for £1,750 at the launch party, as this year's chosen charities.

A lot of work goes into organising the carnival every year and a new initiative, Friends of Woodley Community Carnival, has been launched this year to gather supporters, volunteers and sponsors.

Juliet Anderson, vice chair of the committee, added: "This year was astonishing on so many levels. We raised a bucket load of money, but more importantly the community engagement this year was extraordinary.

"The carnival is something we all carry with us. It is a memory you can hold onto from your childhood.

"It feels like we have been on a huge journey over the last few years. If you can give us five hours of your time, we would love to sign you up to be a Friend of Woodley Community Carnival."

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