What a difference we can make!

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Our ‘One Day To Make A Difference’ event on Saturday at the Silk Mill in Frome was an absolutely outstanding success! How many people came? Well we didn’t count but it was hundreds. Many thanks to Kate, Lorna, Bev, Fiona, all those who covered the town with notices, banners and posters, and The Wochynskis, who did a pied piper trip into town to draw attention to the delights at the Silk Mill. As a measure of how many people came, Keren sold out of her delicious soups (and I can personally vouch for the tomato and red pepper). Linden’s fantastic pop-up cafe was also a huge hit, serving hundreds of cups of tea, coffee, and hot chocolate plus of course the most incredible array of home-baked cakes from so many of our generous (and talented) volunteers.

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Kate’s book stall, with comics from Cartoon Kate, was a great success too, and had a constant stream of browsers (and buyers) with lots of bargains on offer. Andrea had great fun on the tombola stall, tempting lots of people to have a go – and with amazing odds of 1 in 5 there were lots of winners! I’m not sure who donated or won the fancy lingerie storage bag, but it was a great talking point!

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Our stalls: Tina Seviour‘s jewellery, JoJo’s Shabby Chic,  Funky Wombat Designs‘s bags, Green lady Herbal Apothecary, Abi Crombie‘s textile gifts, and Painted People‘s fancy dress and facepainting were also very popular.

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The Wochynskis were simply wonderful, performing for free for us, and providing perfect entertainment that really made the whole event a place where people wanted to linger and chill. Jane from Squares for Blankets knitted and chatted, made good links, and it was great to receive more donated squares on the day too.

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Joanne and Kate did a brilliant job selling raffle tickets for what turned out to be a great array of prizes. Not just the from the donors I mentioned in my last post, but also a leather bag from Italy Italy, a voucher for smoothies the Green Monkey cafe, a voucher for an Indian Head massage, and one for a face painting session from Painted People, a beautiful lamp from Red Mud Pottery and Lighting, a bottle of wine from Bill the Butcher and as this is beginning to feel like a memory game I’ll just say: many, many more! Thanks to everyone who donated to both the raffle and the tombola: I didn’t get all your names, but you know who you are!

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People were just so generous! Susannah, Ghania, Jeanette, Glenny and Elaine were kept busy with a constant stream of donors bringing in the warm clothing we’d asked for. We had reports that the charity shops in Frome were inundated with people coming in to buy up all their warm men’s hats, scarves, and gloves, and so many pairs of new socks and pants were donated: boxes full – even though they’re compact items. It was really just so heartwarming.

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And with so many people contributing so much, in kind, in cash, and in goodwill, we managed to raise an astonishing £1,117.35 in cash on the day, plus another £248.75 online. This was far more than I ever dared hope, and will help us send all the donated goods we have and more out to refugees in need very soon.

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I was also overwhelmed by the offers of help we received on the day. I have several potential donation and storage sites that I’ll be visiting soon, and great chats with people who wanted to offer skills to help both our work, and the refugees that will eventually come to settle in our area.

Really this event exceeded my expectations in every way. So many people came together and gave so much. Just goes to prove how much people DO care about the welfare of other human beings, people they’ve never met, and who have through no fault of their own ended up in really quite unimaginably awful circumstances. Thank you to everyone.

Although our fundraising page for this event will close very shortly, you can still donate to our work on our main BT mydonate page. And please do tick the gift aid box if you can: it helps us make even more of a difference!

People contact us every day asking where they can bring their donations for refugees. News on this will follow soon, so please sign up for our mailing list, join our facebook group, or follow this blog via email (scroll up and click link to the right) to make sure you don’t miss it.

Thanks,

Christine

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