MacMillan Coffee Morning

Macmillan Cancer Support is a great cause as so many of our lives are touched by cancer. I remember when my boss and mentor was dying of cancer, he told me that the Macmillan nurse was the best person to help him, with more experience and understanding than the doctors and consultants that he saw. He died after a brave fight, the day after his 70th birthday,  six years ago. A few days after he died I saw an advertisement for the Macmillan Coffee Morning and I asked the Board – his family – if I could host a coffee morning at work at the end of September. Of course they agreed, so friends and colleagues baked and bought and we raised a substantial amount of money for this worthy cause.

I have continued to support Macmillan since then, I ran another coffee morning ,even though it always coincides with my birthday weekend, and I ran a ‘Big Night In’ fundraiser which is a less well known event. The last two years, I have contributed to and helped at school’s Macmillan Coffee Morning, then brought any leftover cake back to my office one year and my Hairdresser’s another year, to further boost the coffers. It is a genius idea as most people love cake and so, to raise money by baking, eating and getting together does not feel like a big hardship.

I will be overseas tomorrow when the coffee morning at school is due to take place, so I have baked a coffee cake and some chocolate brownies to send into school today with Joshua as my contribution, as well as sending him with some cash to be able to buy cake tomorrow morning, so I am happy that I have still done my bit. I understand that classes will be getting involved by baking and selling their produce, as well as making tablecloths and bunting to decorate the dining area. The parents from other local Special Schools are also invited along, so it should be a success in more ways than one. These fund raising, school-wide coffee mornings tend to attract many more parents than my monthly ones do – perhaps because the children are involved or maybe they are attracted by the fund-raising element.  I will be thinking of them all tomorrow at school and hoping that everyone has fun and enjoys some delicious treats, while raising a huge amount of cash for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Morning After

This is the first early morning for a week when I have not come downstairs and put my oven and my apron on!The Macmillan Coffee Morning at school could not have gone better …..

I arrived at school at 8.30 with a car boot full of homemade goodies – coffee cake, parkin, lemon drizzle, key lime pie, flapjack, cheese straws, victoria sponge, apple cake etc. There was so much that it took me two trips from the car to the dining hall where we were holding the event. I began to blow up balloons, lay out table clothes and put bunting up around the walls. Staff arrived to either donate a creation or to eye up what they planned to buy later, as I set out the cake on the tables. Then very soon, parents, once they had dropped off their children, began to arrive. From 9am until 11.30 it was pretty full on, with serving cake, chatting to guests, making hot drinks and keeping track of things. Two 6th formers were volunteered to help – not my son thankfully as he was creating chaos in the short while he was there during the set up stage! One of them was taking photographs for the website and the other took over the tea and coffee-making.

Each class had made their own contribution – buns and cake – and they each came to the dining hall with their donation, throughout the morning, and they amused me by mainly buying back what they had been involved in making! There was real pride in an enormous ‘rainbow cake’ for instance and that class were the main takers of it too. The Parents were keen to know what their child had made and to buy a slice of it in support. The parents sat at tables like in a cafe, some coming back for seconds, and the cardboard collection box that Macmillan supply, grew heavier and heavier.

I do not know yet how much money we collected, but I expect it to be in the region of £300 as I was counting it up and I had got to £240-something when was interrupted and I lost count , so I handed it into the office to be counted. In addition to that, I took some cake to the reception of the adjoining school and to my own offices and they donated a further £35. No doubt we will know the grand total next week!

Already though I would consider it to be a roaring success; not just due to the cash raised for a brilliant charity, but also for the fact that it brought people together : it united pupils, parents and staff in a common cause and of course, a love of cake really helped! There was a real buzz about the dining hall yesterday morning and I am not sure that it could have gone any better.