December for our charity was a bumper month full of festive fundraising and endeavours in particular and there was so many highlights in the month we just had to include them all!
Overall, over £22,000 was raised last year thanks to the kindness and generosity of our community.
Now, as we close the chapter on our milestone and record-breaking 15th anniversary year, we pay tribute to the twelfth month of the year.
And, as we reached the final month of the anniversary year, and with our team rather zonked out after an incredible action-packed full-on year, we was all rather looking forward to a festive break switch off and recharging our batteries ready for 2023.
We ran our third Mega Christmas Raffle, with sales across three weeks, and raised a fantastic £625 in total, with over 35 prizes. We held the draw, four days before the big day, and despite the cost of living crisis, it didn’t stop supporters digging deep to put in the pounds to have a go, and even though not everyone could be lucky and win a prize, no one is losers and everyone was winners for supporting the charity, and helping our children’s hospital, health and disability causes that we strive to help enormously year on year.
In partnership with our friends at Didcot Events we held our third Festive Market in the town – and what another amazing event it was! We pulled out all the stops again, and despite the many challenges presented to our Andy and Jeanette from Didcot Events over the months and weeks, it was the best and biggest festive market with another fantastic turn out of locals, and was packed from start to finish, taking over the entire Orchard Centre Didcot, on a bitterly cold but festive feeling Sunday. From choirs and dance troupes, to Santa in his grotto, us with our tombola, around 50 stalls, entertainers, horse drawn carriage rides, face painting, balloon modelling and a nativity farm, this event brought in over £2,500 for our charity – almost £1,900 from our tombola stall and Santa donations alone, £834.50 came through the profit raised by the event overall, a donation from half of the stall fees. The day certainly started December off for the town in fantastic style, and was a festive family feelgood event.
We received thousands of gifts donated as part of our 8th Sleigh2Give Appeal – and it was the biggest and record number of donations received for our annual Christmas appeal. Thousands of gifts was delivered and distributed out to Oxford Children’s Hospital, the neonatal care unit at the JR, Helen & Douglas House children’s hospice, the vulnerable and children and families less fortunate, and all through the generosity of our community from schools to supermarket shoppers, shops, businesses, groups, dance schools, netball teams, and many more besides including individuals all showing big hearts and Christmas kindness, to spread cheer, joy and smiles.
C U Tuesday thanks in part with The Mulberry in Didcot held a sold-out gig at the pub in the town on the final Friday pre Christmas and a fantastic £500 was donated to our charity, through the proceeds raised by ticket sales.
A festive cake sale was held at St Birinus School in Didcot, Andy Baker’s former school where his fundraising for the Oxford Children’s Hospital 20 years ago, began, a festive bake sale organised by student leadership team adding over £218. Didcot Sixth Form held their third festive dress down day just before the end of term, raising over £220. Andy was a D6 student for three years from 2004, and graduated in 2007.
Our third and final rock ‘n’ roll bingo night of the year was held, and once again by the kindness of Boundary Park in Didcot who always so generously allows us to hold our hugely enjoyed music bingo nights, and to add to the month one of our longstanding corporate sponsors Cannon Packing and Logistics made their annual £1000 donation, which will really help our charity enormously into the coming weeks and months, so that we can continue our amazing work in changing, transforming and saving lives locally, and further.
Wow, what a busy last month of the year, we are exhausted just by looking back through and seeing just how much was done in just one month, and reminding us just how we really do, that also inspires others in the community to take action, to contribute and to get involved, especially in a month which is so expensive for everyone and with the cost of living crisis, but showing and reminding us at Play2Give just how much love, support and admiration there is for all that we do.
Thank you to all of our wonderful supporters and to all of our community who get behind our charity and helping us in changing, transforming and saving lives across Oxfordshire and beyond.
It is only thanks to the incredible support we receive that we are able to do what we do in making an enormous difference and impact on the lives of others.
Now, to 2023 and to look forward to lots more exciting and engaging events and activities engaging the local community, for example we will be back with our first public stall of the year at the marvellous event that is the Harwell Feast on May 29th.