Coffee morning sees estate agent return to fundraising

Joseph Bulmer

After a forced break from its long-standing charity fundraising efforts, a Paignton estate agency was back in the zone when it took part in the ‘World’s Biggest Coffee Morning’ for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The fundraising event by Woods Bryce Baker in Preston was the first in a while and attracted a steady flow of around 20 local people who joined the team – Sarah Thomas, Lizette Baker, Rachel Green and Sam Winning – in the Torquay Road office for coffee and cake, and between them raised £110 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Sarah Thomas, senior negotiator at Woods Bryce Baker and award-winning fundraiser, said: “Covid dealt a massive blow to almost all charities as events were cancelled and shops closed, so we’re really keen to get back to fundraising.

"Our coffee morning was a bit of a tester to see how it would work with Covid, etc, and we’re pleased with the outcome. £110 isn’t a massive amount of money but it’s a start - the start of bigger and better things as life slowly adjusts back to normal and people’s confidence levels increase with the improving situation.

"We send a big thank you to all of the businesses which supported us as well as the locals who joined us at various times during the four-hour event.

"We’re very much looking forward to raising more funds going forward.”

This year, due to Covid-19, things were a little different.

Lizette Baker made chocolate brownies and a lovely client donated homemade shortbread, but the rest of the sweet treats were provided by Tesco Local.

Everyone took lateral flow tests before the event, they encouraged social distancing, kept the doors open for fresh air and used lots of hand sanitiser.

One of the factors that didn’t change was the kind-hearted support of many local businesses, which donated prizes for a raffle.

Visitors won and took home prints from Oldway Gallery, a wicker tray from The Loft Interiors, Temple Spa products from Carol Stephenson, baubles from Pretty Smithy Bridal, tickets for Dartmouth Steam Railway and drink and chocolates.

Woods held its first fundraising event – a coffee morning for Macmillan – back in 2004 and has hosted one most years since.

Woods also organised its first charity ball in 2006 and pre-pandemic, this was a must on the Torbay social calendar.

The Woods ladies have raised tens of thousands of pounds over the years and hope to resume their efforts properly next year.