When Faith discovered that a fellow charity campaigner and old schoolfriend had been diagnosed with Myeloma, an incurable form of cancer, she asked for a birthday present with a difference - holding tea parties.
She gathered fellow businesswomen in Sheffield and told them the news about her pal Jacqui Copley and how during treatment, she had set a fundraising target of £25000 for MyelomaUK and the Hallamshire Hospital. Then Faith asked them to host a tea party to raise funds instead of presents.
Faith said: “It’s been a great way to raise the pounds but sadly my attendance at so many tea parties has meant me gaining a few as well!
“Jacqui was only aware of one tea party on April 26. She had no idea of all the other tea parties as that was to be the surprise for her. I set up my Just Giving site ‘Faith Douglas Tea on the Lawn’ and asked those booking to hold their own parties.
“Then I needed to find a venue that could hold about 150 people, so I approached our former school friend Helen Turkington to host at her beautiful home in Ridgeway.”
Most of the hostesses asked former legal recruitment specialist-turned cake baker Janet Thornton of ‘A Bit of a Do’ to provide her vintage crockery and traditional favourites, such as Victoria sponge, lemon lush loaf, scones with jam and cream. Janet held the first tea party when she invited friends and their mothers to her house.
“My mum went and loved it as they were all swapping stories about old times”, said Faith. “She raised £135 on the day and two weeks later her daughter Claire had a tea party at Irwin Mitchell which raised £145. Many more followed in homes and businesses around the city and at our final event on Sunday, we raised £3000, thanks to the tireless efforts of helpers who buttered 30 loaves to make sandwiches, served 150 scones and 200 cakes.”
Jaqui was overwhelmed when we told her we had raised £6,000 on the day. The look on her face truly was my best birthday present ever...”
The businesswomen’s group target is £10,000, so those wishing to support can donate or hold a teaparty to fundraise via Just Giving site Faith Douglas - ‘Tea on the lawn’.