To mark my son Ben’s eleventh birthday, my wife and I organised ‘BenFest’ with the aim of recreating a festival in our back garden. We had invited both children and adults, with many parents and friends commenting this appeared to offer considerably more than the regular birthday party!

With themed invitations and large banners designed by Steve at Printstore, the BenFest logo and branding was prominently displayed around the garden and several of Ben’s friends agreed to join him in sleeping over in our family tent – namely Ewan, Gabriel, Harry and Barney. Other attractions included the gazebo and its ‘VIP seating’, music, customised food and drinks, painted wooden signs, solar lighting, live music feather banners, trampoline, outdoor games (including giant Connect 4 and Jenga), a treasure hunt and the hit of the event – the Wheel of Fortune. Guests included Ben’s Uncle Chris and partner Lottie, our ex-Schroder colleague Elaine Bodimeade and her boyfriend Mark, cousins Kylie, Robbie, Lauren and Aida, Tony and Louisa, plus my best man Ian McConnell and his wife Aifric. The party continued until around 1am and it was 4am before I retired, finally reassured that those sleeping in the garden were settled! A memorable evening.


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