Friday 22 November 2013

Coffee and cake and fundraising... what could be better?!

“As soon as I heard Elliot needed all this money, I instantly said I would do a coffee morning.
In all honesty, I just enjoy doing it. It's a good excuse to get a load of mates together, and catch up with them all, and raise some money at the same time. I've done quite a few in the past, for various charities that have been close to my heart, but I have never raised as much as we did for Elliot, he has touched so many people”.

We contacted Annie Bury, one of Elliot's friends, to find out more about how she arranged the coffee morning and what made it such a success:

So, how do you know Elliot?
We first met Morwenna about 20 years ago. My eldest son went on a French exchange, with a family who Morwenna had stayed with so she phoned to ask if she could come and see him when he stayed with us. I then met her Mum, Liz, and we instantly hit it off, became friends, and the rest, as they say, is history!

And how did you organise the coffee morning? 
About two weeks before the event, I sent emails to all my mates who I thought would come, mentioning the men were welcome too. Many of those that couldn't come gave me a donation. I sent a text to the one or two without the internet. In these messages I mentioned Elliot's website and said a little bit about what a wonderful little friend he is. I then started making cakes! Freezing them in advance, a few days prior to the day. I made whole cakes, tray bakes to cut up, and some individual fairy cakes. I borrowed an extra kettle, and had at least 2 kettles constantly boiling.

How many people came? 
I think we had about 35 to 40 here.

Who helped you? 
Jocelyn & Lucas obviously had fun too!
It was at my house and I had help from friends who just joined in! One friend took coats as people arrived, very helpful, as it was a cold day. I laid out lots of mugs, jug of milk and bowl of sugar. I had 3 tables. Table 1 was for plates, serviettes, cakes and biscuits, and the donations box Table 2 held a bring-and-buy with books, bric a brac and wrapped cakes. Table 3 held raffle prizes. Another friend volunteered to do the raffle for me. She was brilliant, and managed to extract lots of money off people!! We charged £1 a ticket, and when we drew the raffle, at the end of the morning, we tried to make sure everyone won something, especially any children there.

Sounds good! What was the best thing about the coffee morning? 
Everyone together, chatting, meeting up and either catching up with each other, or meeting new friends.

Why did it work so well? 
I don't really know why it worked so well! We kept the coffee and tea flowing, encouraged people to eat, had a good mix of girls and boys, and plenty of people so they HAD to talk to each other, no room to be ignored!

How much did you raise? 

Keeping the raffle ticket safe!
Yes! I was thrilled and very touched by friends’ generosity. Asking for donations helped - I never ask for a fixed amount, apart from the raffle ticket price. I think if you ask for say, £2 for coffee and a cake, you get £2, but if you leave a box and ask for a donation, with any luck, people will put in a fiver!! At one point I asked everyone to listen, while I thanked them all for coming, and helping, and asked Elliot’s Mum Morwenna if she wanted to say anything. She mentioned the website again, so everyone knew where they could get more information.

And finally, Annie, tell us why you love Elliot!
Elliot is the most wonderful chap: funny, brave, interesting, generally yummy!! He loves clocks, and so does my husband, so they both wound up the many clocks in our house during the coffee morning!!

Thank you Annie.

If you'd like any support to organise a coffee morning or other fundraising event, please don't hesitate to contact Sally, Morwenna and James at We can help you by providing flyers, publicity and even put you in touch with other friends who want to help.

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