Monday, 12 August 2013

Guest Post: The Lincolnshire NCS Coffee and Cake Afternoon


Last week, a group of young people from the Lincolnshire branch of the National Citizens Service (NCS) held a very last minute fundraising event for the benefit of a very worthy cause. Bethany Hudson, one of the organisers of The Coffee and Cake Afternoon, which took place at Caistor Town Hall, tells us about the event and the good work that is being done as a result.

The Lincolnshire NCS Coffee and Cake Afternoon by Bethany Hudson.

"You have one week to organise a charity fundraising event, good luck!"

Those were the words uttered by the organisers of Lincolnshire National Citizens Service to the young people participating in the government endorsed four week long summer scheme earlier this month. As a Mentor to one of the groups, I knew they would handle the challenge well having seen them being put through their paces at both a week long PGL camp and a business and skills based residential week near Lincoln.

My team of young people had secured the venue for the event by day one of the week and we felt we were steaming ahead of all other groups, until it came to trying to organise the craft stalls to attend the charity craft fete they wished to hold. Unbeknownst to them and I, most stallholders produce crafts for an event and we had not provided them with enough notice. A date clash with another major craft event in Lincolnshire also meant many stallholders were unavailable. They had to reassess the situation!

The group finally decided on a coffee and cake afternoon to be held in a Town Hall in a small market town on the edge of Lincolnshire. They managed to secure newspaper advertising (and be featured twice in the same edition!), advertising on the Lincs FM and Compass FM websites and coverage on the ever useful Facebook and Twitter. With the majority of the event planned in three days the biggest problem facing the team was publicity. If they could spread the message quickly and extensively they would receive more customers!

On the day of the event the small group worked well together. They had managed to secure donations of tea and coffee from Stokes of Lincoln and had received an offer of provisions from the local Cooperative store. Local craft stall Felt and Clay donated some lovely gifts to the raffle which was held at the end of the event. There were 18 different types of cake on offer so there was something for everyone with the most popular being the Banana Loaf Tray Bake kindly provided by Truly Scrumptious of Grimsby.

During the event, there was a steady stream of individuals attending with the inevitable lull in places, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the team. As a group of 16 year olds, they did a fantastic job organising the event and raised nearly £200 for The Wish Tree Fund. The Fund provides ‘wishes’ to elderly residents of the Order of St Johns Care Homes.

For the young people the scheme continues this coming week and they will be renovating the garden of a care home in the same town. They have planned and organised all the work and have really thought about what the residents would like and balanced this with the little time the owners have to invest in the garden. I am looking forward to the finished result on Friday!

Here is a quick look at the progress so far...

 

BEFORE


  AND AFTER...





For more information on NCS and how to get involved, visit www.ncsyes.co.uk.

Post and images kindly supplied by Bethany Hudson; you can follow Beth on Twitter at @BethHuds.

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