Q. Rosie, who are the members of the fundraising team?
A. Currently, there’s Sue Cadmore, David Silverside, me and until recently, Sandra Trim. Of course, various members, all volunteers, have served on the team since it was originally set up by Jan Knight approximately fifteen years ago. Our well known pop-up cafe was also set up in those early years, headed up by Sue Cadmore, with a main, regular event known as Souper Saturday.
Q. And is the cafe still an important source of fundraising?
A. Catering events are very profitable, and we’ve delivered many fabulous events with full silver service, maitre d’ and cabaret acts…all mostly sold out.
Q. Can you tell us about other events that have taken place over the years?
A. Some extremely ambitious projects have been undertaken, including auctions of promises, silent auctions, pudding nights, therapy evenings, a chocolate festival, a Just Giving weekend, two Marmafests, a weekend of continuous entertainment, craft fairs, cabarets with posh catering, Christmas draws, fund raising films, numerous pop up cafes, youth shows…the list is endless, you name it and we’ve probably tried it
Q. Can you recall any events that were ‘off the wall’ but which turned out to be a surprising success?
A. Filling Smartie tubes with 20p pieces springs to mind. Although there was initially some scepticism it raised a hefty sum of money with some people using £1 coins to fill their tubes!
Q. And what would you say are the main challenges for the team?
A. Well, thinking up new ideas is a constant battle. We usually manage to deliver at least one event per month, often more. But as you can imagine, fundraising requires a certain amount of ‘thinking outside of the box’, plus it’s important to look around and see what’s worked for others and to use some of those ideas to our advantage. But, no matter what we do, we’re constantly amazed at the generosity and support we receive from both members and non-members.
Q. So what would you say are the key achievements of the team?
A. I guess it’s simply the fact that over the years we’ve managed to raise an incredible amount of money. It costs £1500 per week to run The Centre and without fundraising it would be impossible to remain open or be able to offer such a wide range of activities.
Q. What motivates the team?
A. Mainly a love of The Centre and everything it has to offer. It’s very much at the heart of Shaftesbury and plays an important part in local life. And anyone who enjoys being on stage or taking part in creative activities would find the opportunities much less if we did not keep raising funds.
Q. What are your main challenges for the future?
A. Obviously, the current situation is very testing and everything is on hold. But once we are up and running again it would be great to welcome some fresh faces to our team. Although we have many helpers, we find increasingly that we are using the same small band of people who give their time willingly. At some point we ‘oldies’ will need to pass the banner to some new faces, with bright ideas and fresh inspiration. In particular we’d like some younger members to step forward. We would love to inject some youthful energy into the team.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. Every penny counts for us and I’d encourage everyone to pop into The Centre when passing and take a look around. There’s a wealth of information in the foyer with various publications for sale, including some produced by our writing and poetry groups. All proceeds to our fundraising efforts of course.
If you would like more information on fundraising for The Centre or would like to be part of the team, please contact Rosemary King by email at email@example.com