Posted: 11 June 2014

'Try something a wee bit wacky so that it generates some extra interest'

Dr. Ian Hinton, a supporter from Whittlesford, recently shared with us his amazing dedication to the work that we do. He answered our questions about completing long-term goals and going above and beyond in order to make a difference.  

Find out how you can get involved - organise your DO to help vulnerable children around the country.

Q: What inspired you to support us?

A: We have known about The Children’s Society for over 45 years, when we first invited a volunteer speaker to talk about your work at a family service in our parish church. More recently my wife, Sheila, inherited the role of Local Honorary Secretary from her predecessor, Helen York Moore. It is safe to say we are very active supporters.

How did you choose your most recent fundraising activity?

We wanted to take up the challenge of the DO campaign which offered a whole collection of fundraising ideas, so we decided to discuss these with our church members. This discussion sparked even more ideas, so we invited parish members to consider running a DO of their own choice, with the aim to complete a different DO each month.

There were lots of suggestions including a cupcake sale and a ‘mile of pennies,’ but we couldn’t decide on a specific event schedule immediately. As a result, we decided to begin with a word search which I thought would be popular with youngsters. This was followed with a ‘cupcake Sunday’ in March.

With the press date for the next month's magazine fast approaching, we also settled on a third event for the calendar, not a mile of pennies as initially suggested but a ‘pile of pennies.' This was built in the church throughout April, supported by a rope hanging over a roof beam. Our friendly village post office was very helpful in accepting contributions and even changing coins into pennies for the pile.

What did you do to promote your activities?

For the 'pile of pennies,' we wanted to create a sense of nostalgia and so wrote an article for the church magazine looking back at how the public had fundraised to help build Spitfires during World War Two, including other information on what was done to help the war effort.

These included using iron railings to build battleships, collecting aluminium saucepans for aircrafts, even our bus tickets were used to make shell-cases. Of course, the 'miles of pennies' all along the kerb-stones of the main road was the main focus of the piece, as this is what had inspired our most recent fundraiser.

In fact, all our events were promoted in our church using pew slips and adverts in the parish magazine. We also put up posters on local noticeboards throughout Whittlesford and to spread the word even wider afield, we notified our friends from the United Reformed Church and contacted our local newspaper to include a piece on our fundraising.

What other events are you doing?

We did a yard of ale challenge in May. Posters went up and liaised with the village pub and club to take the yard glass around, challenging people to drink out of it in return for a donation. We did this over a couple of days and ensured we’ve got a presence on next to the village shop Saturday, which is in front of one of the older village pubs and village blacksmiths and offered a fine photo opportunity for participants.

What your top tips are for other people looking to fundraise?

Preferably do your planning in advance and then get volunteers to run the event on the day. Additionally, it’s good to try something a wee bit wacky so that it generates some extra interest and publicity.


You can DO it, too

Our fundraisers are organising fundraising events across the country. Find out how you can join in and help vulnerable children.

DO something to help vulnerable young people.

By Matt Summers-Sparks - Digital team

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