Posted: 05 June 2013

'The community pulls together to raise money for The Children’s Society'

Ailsa Scott and Sarah Roberts are fundraising volunteers in Chipping Campden and four surrounding villages. They volunteer to raise vital funds to support our work with vulnerable children and their families.

Alisa's story

In Chipping Campden we have a series of Lent lunches, where a team of eight make and serve soup, bread and cheese to local people and ask for a donation, which goes to a nominated charity. Sarah and I go every year. David and Pam Atkinson were running the lunch in aid of The Children’s Society for eight years, and they asked if we would shadow them for a few years until they wanted to retire. They stopped this year when they reached 80 years old.

We also have a number of other fundraising ventures, involving our local church and neighbours. We hold a coffee morning, which includes a 'bring and buy' sale, which is also a chance for all house box holders to bring in their box for counting.

We also sell our Christmas cards here as well, so this is always done in October. We organise the Christingle and Nativity service on Christmas Eve, where the collection goes to The Children's Society. This is a very popluar service with a congregation of over 450, and loved by all. 

Many ways to get involved

Each event relies on volunteers, which vary according to the event. Young people at our church help make Christingle oranges, light them and hand them out to children at the ceremony. Young people at our church once again help out on the raffle, serving coffee and selling the bring-and-buy products. They are very effective sellers of all manner of things! If you want to go home with a bag full of bric a brac, then that's the perfect place to be.

We also have a bunch of great girlfriends who make huge bowls of soup, and serve the local community and wash up for the Lent lunch. For the box counting scheme we have a group of gentlemen who come and count all of the coins. 

Sarah & I are quite busy, as we are both involved in the community, have school-aged children and juggle work along with elderly relatives who are dependent near by. Sometimes we only just manage to find the time to pull these events off. We are so lucky to have a very supportive community which makes everything achievable. 

'The community pulls together'

The community pulls together to raise money for The Children’s Society. We feel very humbled by our good fortune in living in a beautiful part of the country, surrounded by busy and caring people. Being involved with The Children’s Society combines charitable work along with Christian values, which are very important to both Sarah and me.

We both really love doing the Lent lunch, as it brings in people from all sections of Chipping Campden, elderly and infirm, church-goers and not, parents and toddlers, sightseers and even people for a take-away cup of soup. There is a lovely feeling where everyone can sit together for an hour and share time with each other over a bowl of homemade soup.

Raising money can be as simple or as challenging as you like. Friends and local communities are usually happy to support you. The box scheme is a good way to begin. Friends and neighbours fill up their collection boxes and once a year over a coffee or glass of wine, they are opened and counted. And that is just the start.

Children today are tomorrow’s grown-ups and they all need to be shown value, care and commitment to make them positive citizens. In today’s secular society, Christian values of compassion, love and tolerance have such a pivotal role to play. Even with the ever-increasing standards of living and health improvements, so many children live in fear, poverty and abusive situations. The Children’s Society raises money to directly give help and hope to so many.

By Ailsa Scott - Guest bloggers

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