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Cygnet Aspen House raise over £1700 for Food Aware

The team at Cygnet Aspen House, supported by other Cygnet services in the East Midlands and Yorkshire, have raised over £1700 for a local social enterprise, Food Aware.

Food Aware is an organisation currently supporting 40 community projects / organisations across South Yorkshire and Humber, helping families in what is a particularly challenging time; the pandemic, being furloughed and the unprecedented loss of jobs.

Marc Moran (Nurse) and Kerry Booth (Occupational Therapist) came up with the idea to do some fundraising after following the Marcus Rashford appeal. They watched several videos on social media that highlighted the real struggles of families and children going without meals. Marc, who has young children said “I was just watching my kids one morning, and I thought, I don’t know what I would do if I couldn’t provide them with meals every day, it is heart-breaking. It really upset me.”

Kerry contacted Mel Howram, Operations Manager at Food Aware. The plan was to initially organise a food bank appeal at Aspen House, with Kerry and Marc also volunteering 1-2 times a week with service users at the main warehouse, however ‘Lockdown 2’ put a stop to that.

Marc and Kerry then set a new goal of raising £1500 to donate to Food Aware, along with staff at Aspen House continuing to donate food items. Marc was also interviewed by the Barnsley Chronicle about the fundraising initiative.

Kerry came up with following innovative ways to raise funds for this appeal including:

  • All male staff to grow a ‘Lockdown 2 Beard’
  • A virtual 3 Peak Challenge over the course of a week for all female staff to complete on the staircases
  • A 24hr (two 12 hours) static bike ride for all staff and service users
  • Weekly food donations from all staff members

It was the idea of a Cygnet Hospital Online Quiz however that contributed to the team surpassing their £1500 target. Kerry produced a quiz covering a range of ‘pub quiz topics’ and invited services up and down the country to join in with a minimum donation of £50. Kerry and Marc become Quiz Masters for the afternoon, with Pauline ‘Hawk Eyes’ Rees (Hospital Manger) taking the role of observing if anyone was cheating on screen.

The quiz alone raised £450, and was a huge success with nine teams representing Cygnet services from Yorkshire and the East Midlands. These included Cygnet Sherwood House, Cygnet Sherwood Lodge, Cygnet Grange, Cygnet Manor, Cygnet Acer Clinic, Cygnet Hospital Sheffield, Cygnet Aspen Clinic, Cygnet Aspen House and Ricky Holland’s East Midlands team. Cygnet Sherwood House won the quiz and received their winner’s trophy, and Cygnet Hospital Sheffield received a wooden spoon for coming last (better luck next time!).

“Thank you so much from the Acer Team, we all had a fantastic afternoon and for a great cause! Looking forward to the next one!”Jane Mosely (OT), Cygnet Acer Clinic

Mel from Food Aware upon hearing how much the appeal had raised said, “Absolutely amazing!!! Thank you so very much, we will be able to put this to such good use supporting our communities over the coming cold months. By the way I absolutely loved seeing the facial fuzz progress, absolutely brilliant. Well done to all of you!”

Marc and Kerry would like to say a massive thank you to all the Cygnet sites and staff members that have supported the appeal, and helped them reach their target in less than four weeks.

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