Friday, 29 June 2018

Putting the Fun into FUNdraising

It's hard to believe that I haven't blogged since November of last year but life seems to have been pulling me in a few different directions recently and, as John Lennon once said, 'Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.'

So, forgive me for the blogging silence but understand that there have been valid reasons and certain news I'd love to share (regarding an exciting development in my writing journey) but things are still too much in the early stages to go shouting from the rooftops yet.  All I can say is, watch this space.

BUT ... I do have some fantastic news about my fundraising for Age UK, Wandsworth.  Regular followers will know that I've now been working with this charity since I lost my lovely mum in 2016.  Three events later, I've raised approximately £3,500.  My next event will be on November 10th upstairs at The Telegraph Pub, Putney and will take the form of a 1960's night with live entertainment from The Kitsch Kittens, food, raffle, cupcake lottery and dancing until midnight.

Every year the hardest part is approaching companies for raffle prizes.  I send HUNDREDS of emails and, more often than not, don't even receive a reply.  I usually manage to source about 30 prizes with the help of friends, and the raffle is always a great boost to the proceeds.

A chance email to a favourite restaurant of ours in Chelsea Wharf - Yamal Alsham - proved to deliver a result beyond my wildest dreams.  We went there today and had a drink in the London sunshine with their charming marketing manager, Imad, and were told that they are happy to donate vouchers for meals for 6 ( the BEST food!) AND ONE THOUSAND POUNDS!  Eeek!  Can you imagine how hard it was for me not to throw my top over my head and do a little happy dance around the waterfront?!  Also, they're going to start a campaign in their sister cafe/deli next door, Marhaba Express whereby for every pound their customers give to the charity, they'll match it up to another thousand pounds.

Once the news had sunk in - if you'd been passing, I MAY have been the one who looked like a demented goldfish as I opened and closed my mouth in delighted shock - we agreed that out of the first £1,000 they are donating we will cover the cost of the entertainment and that will still leave over £600 profit for the charity.  That means that now, for the first time in doing this, I officially have a cash sponsor.  I can't begin to tell you how many businesses I've approached for prizes or sponsorship to simply be ignored.  Estate agents are THE WORST, by the way!

The restaurant would like to work with us on an ongoing basis and this really is the stuff of charity dreams for me. When I watch TV programmes with WAGS or celebrities raising funds for various charities I always feel a bit down-hearted that, as a nobody, I can never even hope to raise the amount that they achieve but I have to keep reminding myself that I'm doing this for my mum and EVERY PENNY I raise goes to help an older person in my area. OK, I may never get to five or six figure sums but I sure am heading in the right direction.

Excuse me now whilst I go off to have a celebratory G&T.  I'll leave you to take a look at the list of prizes below that I've accumulated so far - aside from the ONE THOUSAND POUNDS AND COUNTING!  Did I mention that?!  Also, if any other businesses, multi-millionaires or even estate agents (!) would like to show their generosity, you know where to find me - here or on Twitter @mummy_misfit.  Or, if you'd like to donate the odd pound or two, you can do so here and also read the story behind my fundraising. Remember, one day you may be old and lonely, and Age UK may be the ones who come to your rescue.

PRIZES TO DATE:

The Spencer Pub, Putney - £50 voucher for dinner
The Flower Yard, Putney - flower arrangement
Cook - £20 voucher
A Time To Heal, Glasgow - pamper hamper
Panacea Health & Beauty - 2x hampers worth £40
The Pheasantry, Kings Road Chelsea - 2x tickets for live entertainment £30
Kingston Lodge Hotel - Sunday lunch for 2
Ma Goa, Putney - Sunday lunch or dinner for 2, up to £50
Cannizaro House, Wimbledon - afternoon tea for 2
Tastecard - annual subscription £40
Fullers Brewery - tour for 2
The Dance Lab, Putney - beginners dance course for 1 month for 2 - £100
Avenue Cookery School, Putney - £30 voucher
Headmasters - cut and blow dry
Chiswick House - 2 x vouchers for 4
Yamal Alsham - 2 vouchers for dinner (2 guests and 4 guests)