Winning at the races
Friday 27 March 2015

Brandon at the RacesStreet collecting can go either way. On a bad day it can be tough but at the right event, at the right time, it can be brilliant, brilliant for raising awareness, raising money and for having lots of fun too.

The opportunity to collect during the week of the world famous Cheltenham Festival arose when Drewe and Felicity Lacey, from Lacey Thayers CIC, kindly offered their front garden as our collecting point. So armed with our collection buckets, our pink hoodies and tons of enthusiasm me and a few of my colleagues, Penny, Jay and Adrian, headed off to their beautiful home, located between the race course and Cheltenham town centre. We were greeted with tea and an array of biscuits; things were shaping up well!

At 5.15pm we stood at the front of their garden, our large Brandon Trust banner tied to their fence, and we waited for the crowds to arrive, I was told it would be a big crowd. We waited and waited, I was beginning to get a little concerned. Drewe and Felicity’s enthusiasm did not falter, they knew what was coming.

Around half-an-hour later the crowds started to arrive; the tweed blazers and the big hats, the banter and the smiles, all riding the wave of noise and excitement from the thrilling day they’d had. We were ready! Adrian turned town crier, grabbing everyone’s attention and the donations came flying in. We quickly developed a system, when someone threw in their change we would give a large cheer. The more we cheered, the more people donated, which then inspired others to cheer around us. There was a real buzz, the atmosphere was cracking!

From that one hour we raised £400. We had to get a bigger team together for the last couple of days; the opportunity was too big to miss! Simon from our fundraising team joined us and Tammy, from the Gloucester Brandon Trust office, rallied the troops, a mix of staff and people we support, to collect on the final day of the festival, Gold Cup day.

Overall we raised £1,200. This money will directly benefit the people we support who live in the area; local donations for local people. Not bad for a few hours at the races.

Thank you to everyone who helped collect, to Drewe and Felicity for providing this opportunity and being such wonderful hosts and to all you race goers who threw some of your winnings into our buckets. We all have fond memories of this experience, so I think you’ll agree that this was certainly a successful street collection.

Ali Tudor
Community Fundraising Coordinator