August 31, 2011 Leave a comment
As ever it’s been a very busy month for us all at Waverley Care.
This has been our 20th year working with the Pleasance and our bucket shaking coordinators Adrian, Angela, James and Sophie have been working hard with all our volunteers to collect over £28,000 in donations over the three and a half weeks of the Fringe! This year our hard-working core of volunteers (too many to mention but you know who you are) have been joined by groups from Virgin Money and Edinburgh University MedRAG. We’ve also been fortunate enough to have teams from Lloyds Banking Group helping us as part of their “day to make a difference”. Add to this another successful Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit and our fundraising at the Pleasance will total over £35,000. Even though the weather was not the best..ok it was diabolical, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers, great support from Pleasance staff and the goodwill and support of performers and audiences at the Pleasance we have surpassed what we raised last year!
Our Comedy Gala at the Festival Theatre which is organised by Off The Kerb and televised as “Edinburgh ComedyFest Live” on BBC3 was sold out long before the Fringe started and was a roaring success yet again. (you can catch the first half on iplayer until 11 September) If you love the idea of the Edinburgh Fringe but lack the time or the finances to spend a month hitting the shows this is the one for you. 3 hours of amazing comedy talent showcasing all the top performers from the Fringe and beyond and all in aid of Waverley Care! We’re so thankful to Addison, Verity and the team and of course all the performers for donating their time and talents.
The Edinburgh Festivals are not just about comedy though, and we were also to be found shaking our buckets at Edinburgh Music Theatre‘s production “Pop Goes The Musical”, this was the culmination of our time as EMT’s Charity of Year, which began with their production of ‘Rent’ in April and has seen us raise over £4100 via bucket shaking and a benefit performance of ‘Rent’. We also got our buckets out for Grassroots production “Africa, Heart & Soul”. Grassroots spent some time at our respite unit Milestone where they gave a couple of special performances including one before the start of the festival when the weather was lovely! We had 25 service users and staff out in the gardens listening to African singing, drums and stories – apparently there was a lot of clapping whistling and even some bootie shaking!! Grassroots followed this up with another performance at the end of August.
We’ve also been lucky enough to have the team at the New Town Bar supporting us with their Sunday Fundraisers again this year, in fact they were so successful they had to expand them to a couple of Fridays as well! Scott Agnew and Bob Downe were the gracious hosts for the events with a multitude of Fringe stars heading down to take to the stage including a performance from Margaret Cho. Jimmy, Stephen, Will and the staff all worked so hard to make these events a success and raised a staggering £2250 to support our services.
Add to all this a wonderfully successful Come & Sing day on 13th August with John Rutter conducting a massed choir of 400 singers in his Requiem to a sold out audience of over 200. Everyone involved had a great day and we raised £7500 from the event! Huge thanks go to John Rutter for supporting us with this event and to our volunteers who helped make the day run smoothly for everyone.
Last but not least thanks to those who got involved with our #laffoffstigma campaign which ran throughout the month of August. We had over 60 entries in our joke competition and some famous faces popped up on our YouTube channel including comedy award nominee Josie Long. The winning joke was picked by Ryan Taylor, Comedy Programmer at the Pleasance, and won £100 in Amazon vouchers. Tom Walton submitted the winner – “Tried to book an Elvis impersonator once. Got put through to a call centre. Had to press 1 for the money, 2 for the show..” – Brilliant!!