We worked hard to prepare for the day. However, the event itself exceeded all that we hoped for and more. The turnout was overwhelming, the comments we have received from people that attended touched all of our hearts and the amount of money we hoped to raise surpassed our expectations.
The preparations began at lunchtime. We set the tables, exhibited our goodies that included: cakes, biscuits, selection of savouries, cold and warm drinks as well as handmade gifts. Just before we were ready to receive our first guests, Simon and Chantelle went round the centre selling our hand-made raffle tickets. They did exceptionally well helping us to begin with our raising-money extravaganza.
The people that came to our event ranged between those who merely wanted to help our cause, those who simply could not resist the temptation of Kamila's homemade cakes but also, those who needed to be there and reflect about their own experiences. There was one lady that made a real impression on all of us. She said
'I finished my lessons an hour ago, but I needed to wait for your event to connect with my child that I lost to neonatal death syndrome 16 years ago.' She continued: ' … it is so important what you do; you are making sure no parent goes home feeling that they are on their own.'
We knew, before the event, that we were making good, however, after meeting this lady, we felt proud, honoured and fulfilled to have organised this meaningful event.
The final amount of money we raised in one hour and thirty minutes was £256!
Unbelievable, what a success! We couldn't stop smiling. In addition to raising money, we learned so much during the process of organising this event. Simon, one of the organisers, said 'I loved working as part of a team … the thing I enjoyed the most about the project was the atmosphere; everyone was in a pretty good spirit … I found that my confidence was getting better step by step.' Another student, Kim, said that she was able to build her communication, organisation and management skills. Kamila mentioned that this event helped her to improve her social skills, and in particular, it helped her to practice how to communicate with people in public.
Sarah commented: '… there were many things that I loved, but, the most important thing that I have learned during the process of organising the event was that it is important to listen to other people's opinions and ideas'.
In our first blog, we introduced ourselves as a group of enthusiastic students from Erdington Adult Education Centre who shared the enthusiasm for wanting to learn a more efficient command of the English language. Three weeks later, we still share the same passion but much more. Through organising the fundraising event we directly helped our community, we learned new skills, but also we learned about each other.
Thank you all for reading our story; we appreciate your help, encouragement and your on-going support.
Students (and their tutor) from Level 2 Functional Skills English (Erdington)