Posted: 16 July 2015

I threw the perfect Summer Celebration

Like most British summer days when you choose to hold an outdoor event, it dawned cloudy, windy and miserable. Shooting up a rapid prayer, I set my sights on the mountain of potato salad, coleslaw and chocolate roulade that demanded my attention.

Holding a Summer Celebration for The Children’s Society was a first for me. Being new to the charity and hearing some of the stories from children who had suffered such hardship made me think, You know what, OK. Yes, I could do that.

I love food, and have a great bunch of friends and neighbours who like a good excuse for a shindig. So opening my garden to raise some cash for poor and abused kids seemed like a win-win situation.

With loads of free stuff on offer from The Children’s Society like invitations, event posters, buckets and bunting, I began to plan the event with a little help from my hubbie, who was dubbed chief barbequer. A Facebook group went out to the masses, promising a glass of Pimms, plenty of burgers and a raffle.

One Saturday morning I took myself round the local fishing village, asking owners of quaint coffee shops and boating houses if they would offer raffle prizes. I found the independent traders pleasantly forthcoming, and came away with coffee vouchers, children’s toys and squash lessons to add to the prize-draw. Things were looking up.

Supermarkets were my next challenge. Drafting a letter and asking for the ‘Head of Charitable Activities’ was the first stage towards securing 2kg of meat, 60 bread rolls and liters of tomato ketchup. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

The day itself turned out to be a complete success. At roughly 2pm prayers were answered, the clouds parted and glorious sunshine prevailed for the rest of the afternoon. Kids loved the cocktail umbrellas and the mums enjoyed an extra glass or two of Pimms. The men gathered round the burgers and discussed sport, Becks in one hand, tongs in the other.

Raising almost £400 for vulnerable children while enjoying the best of British was really quite impressive, and I would certainly consider doing it again.

What better excuse to celebrate summer?

By Joanna Lamb - Media team