Frimley & Villages host a fantastic fundraising community, as proved by the wonderful efforts of the Camberley Fundraising Group.
Sharon Carter set up Camberley Fundraising Group for Marie Curie at the end of 2011, along with a number of ex-PTA friends who had been affected by the loss of a loved one around that time, and together, they’ve used the fundraising skills they had developed to raise money for Marie Curie. Since then, the marvellous group have raised over £140,000. What was once a do-gooding group is now a fundraising community of 15 active event organisers and 70 volunteers.
CommunityAd had the pleasure of a chat with Sharon who tells us of all the different forms the fundraising has taken in the last nine years, from family spook fests, fire walks, abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower and even the odd skinny dip (Sharon stresses “no photos”). As well as the Great Daffodil appeal which is on going at the moment, two Fields of Hope in Surrey Heath, planted in October 2015, are bright and yellow for the fifth year. The bulbs were sponsored by local people in memory of loved ones and can be found in Frimley Lodge Park and at St. Anne’s Church in Bagshot.
So Sharon, are there any particular highlights which stand out during that time?
Definitely, yes. In September 2015 we lead the way with a fundraising firewalk, which was the idea of Varpu, one of our key volunteer team, with more than 50 participants and raising over £10,500. It was a great event, the first one really in the area and we were able to involve some other charities locally to join us to raise money for their causes too, so it was a great community event.
It must be a satisfying feeling raising money for a worthy cause and with such a great community of like-minded people?
Marie Curie support people with end-of-life care in their own homes – not only those with cancer but anyone who has a terminal diagnosis, whatever the cause. It costs £20 for Marie Curie to provide one hour of expert nursing care, so when we are fundraising we take it one £20 at a time – although we love to raise £1,000’s, we keep in mind that even £20 will make a difference to someone in their last days. It’s fair to say that although the cause is clearly a very serious one, we all really enjoy what we do, have a lot of laughs and have made new friendships through our volunteering.
What makes Camberley such a pleasant community to call home?
We always find that any events we run or attend and also our collections are so well supported by the community. We are lucky to fundraise for a well-known and respected charity and often hear from the public about how the charity has helped their family in the past, which is lovely. We’re always looking for new volunteers to join us at either events or collections – they can contact us through social media for more info. No experience necessary, but a penchant for yellow helps.