21 November 2011
Sally Osborne and Pepi O’Neill raised £5,500, the highest amount from 2011’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning in Wiltshire, by giving their event an interesting twist
For the last two years, the friends’ coffee mornings in Devizes have moved to the evening, and coffee and cakes have been swapped for wine and nibbles.
Sally was inspired to help Macmillan as her mother has fought not only breast cancer, but subsequently bone cancer too. 'She is on the road to recovery, and thankfully still going strong' Sally added.
Sally has hosted five coffee mornings for Macmillan since 2005, and in the first year raised £464.67. Her coffee mornings have gone from strength to strength, and by 2009 included book stalls and homemade goods such as cakes, jams and chutneys. It’s in the last two years that the event has really taken off, and with Pepi’s help the pair have raised £10,210.
'Many people wanted to support our coffee morning event but were unable to attend because of work commitments,' Sally said, 'so we changed the traditional coffee morning format to an evening wine and nibbles event in order to attract more guests' she explained.
Sally and Pepi decided to include a silent auction, which helped increase the final total. The lots were emailed to guests in advance so they could get the bids rolling, and even people who couldn’t attend could get involved and donate. All the lots were donated, and included the use of holiday accommodation, fine wines and an offer of a cooked meal for a dinner party, which had attracted a bid of £300 before the alternative coffee morning began.
Area Fundraising manager Anna Cairns said 'Sally and Pepi’s achievement is truly fantastic. It’s great to see them putting their own spin on the fundraiser, thinking about what would work for their guests and adapting the theme.'
Sally added 'As well as raising money it was a really fun evening, especially when the wine started flowing!'
714 individuals, community groups and companies took part in Wiltshire this year, and so far they have raised £81,782. If you took part and need to donate your money raised please go to www.macmillan.org.uk/coffee.
In Wiltshire, the cancer charity funds 18 Macmillan professionals, including 8 nurses with specialisms including breast cancer, urology, and skin cancer, and a welfare benefits advisor based in the Swindon Citizen’s Advice Bureau to help people navigate the complicated benefits system.
In 2010, Macmillan gave out £65,969 in financial grants to help people, with the largest amount being spent on fuel to cover the increased costs of the effects of living with cancer, such as travelling back and forth to hospital and keeping warm in the home.