Macmillan has hundreds of fundraising events around the UK every year, but there’s no need to wait for one that suits you to come along. Instead, why not simply create your own? Your idea can be as unique as you like, and it’s a great opportunity for getting together with friends, family or your local community. One great example of a home-grown event is a beautiful Daffodil Walk held annually in Cheshire.
The event first came about in 2007 when Len Tomlinson decided to fundraise for Macmillan after losing a close friend to cancer. Since Len’s home is on a horticultural farm which has been growing daffodils for 150 years, he struck upon the idea of offering guided tours of the blooms in return for donations.
He enlisted the help of his daughter Gail, a member of the Macmillan Vale Royal Fundraising Committee, and together they raised a blooming marvellous £300.
After the success of that first event, the Fundraising Committee now repeat it every spring. Last year they raised £11,500, taking the total sum that the event has raised over the years to an astounding £57,262. Interesting new elements are added to the walks each year, including more varieties of daffodils (astonishingly, there are currently 600 types, including one that’s used in medical trials) and magical fairy trails for the younger visitors.
The event relies heavily on volunteers. Last year, 55 enthusiastic members of the local community came together to help, including six young volunteers.
'We couldn’t run it without them,' says Gail. 'Everyone pitches in and does what they can including selling refreshments, washing up, baking cakes, manning the car park and going out into the fields to cut daffodils to sell.
'We’ve found it helpful for all of us volunteers to get to know each other beforehand at a social event. We discuss the reasons why we’re all there and we let each other know about the skills that we can share. Everyone has a different and valuable area of expertise.
'We’ve also gained the support of many local businesses. The local pub supplies all our hot drinks, a fruit seller gives us strawberries and cream, and others donate portaloos and print posters.'
By getting stuck in together, Gail and Len’s community made the event a big success – one that’s helping Macmillan support more people year after year. Just imagine what you could achieve with an idea of your own and the help of those around you. This year’s Daffodil Walk event takes place from 28 March - 8 April at Foxwist Green Farm, Whitegate, Cheshire. If you’d like to volunteer at the event, please get in touch. And if you’d like to visit, tickets cost £5 (including refreshments) and must be booked in advance, so why not reserve your place today?
And if you've got your own fundraising idea, turn it into a reality with our top tips below.
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