Today was my last day at the company I have been working for over the last six months. As I have mentioned in other posts, this is quite poignant, as I was at work when I was told that Mum has Progressive Bulbar Palsy.
We hosted a two-day BakeIt bonanza and I am delighted to announce we have raised £137.52, which my former employers have agreed to match. £275.04 is a phenomenal amount of money which pays for 40 copies of So What is MND Anyway? and an MND expert researcher for half a day!
This was my first time fundraising for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, and I am thrilled with how it went. The whole company really got behind the event, and enjoyed the wide range of baking delights we had on offer.
Day One featured chunky chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting, sweet potato brownies, pecan and cranberry brownies, a light shortbread, chocolate chip shortbread, and the incredibly popular gin and tonic cake.
I hadn’t planned for this, but Day Two’s new array of bakes meant people returned to the sale – raising even more money. My colleagues and I baked an amaretto and sherry cake, almond cake and peanut butter cookies – on top of leftover brownies, shortbread and cupcakes. What a day!
It was so much fun, and a much nicer way to say goodbye than going for a drink. When you go to a bar or a pub, you don’t get the chance to speak to people, whereas my colleagues came into the marketing and publicity room when they were available to have a chat, and I got the opportunity to see everyone.
It was also an opportunity to talk to people about my mum, and give them a better idea about what MND is and how it impacts different people. I’ve been able to talk about what it’s like being a family member, being a carer who doesn’t do the caring every day, and what it’s like for my mum. Everyone has been very open to listening – and I did my best to keep it as light-hearted as possible. Although MND is cruel, the rest of my mum’s life will not be filled with despair. Plus, I’m grateful for everyone’s donations – we actually smashed my target of £50 on the first day.
The MND Association were incredible in their support. I have been receiving a lot of correspondence from them at the moment, and I already love being so involved. In relation to the BakeIt! though, I only gave them two weeks’ notice, and within that time they sent me the incredibly helpful pack, containing details about where the money raised goes, how to pay it in, an authorisation letter, and useful ideas to make the event even more successful. On top of that, they sent me balloons, banners, cards, flags, napkins, stickers – everything to make the room bright and colourful. It certainly felt more like a fun celebration, and that will always raise more money and awareness.
After a fantastic final few days, I want to again thank everyone for making my time there so special. Professionally, I have developed so much. Personally, I’m almost a different person. In such a short amount of time I have changed so much, and they were there to help, guide and shape me throughout that process.
This weekend I am back in Leeds with my mum. My partner is seeing her for the first time since we received the diagnosis, which is something I will be talking about next week.
Until then, check out the MND’s #MyEyesSay campaign, and my blog post about it, all in honour of MND Awareness Month.
And if you would like to support the bake sale and the MND Association, please text CAKE00 £5 to 70070.