Ladies Circle Great Britain & Ireland joined together in 2016-17 to “Jump On Board” with National President Alex Bennett’s chosen charity Epilepsy Action: www.epilepsy.org.uk
Alex’s mum was diagnosed in 2013, and is one of around 600,000 people who lives with the effects of Epilepsy in the UK. Epilepsy Action is all about awareness, education and making sure that people know what to do.
Together with Epilepsy Action, Ladies Circle GB&I created an information pack to help all Circlers get involved wherever and whenever they can. The pack includes a calendar of events detailing different types of fundraising activities which Ladies could get involved with during any month, plus social media links, PR and press details to help Circles to publicise their efforts and raise awareness about the Epilepsy Action charity in their local regions.
GB&I Ladies have been absolutely incredible in embracing all opportunities to get involved. Our National Charity Liaison, Sarah Mackenzie-Briggs, has worked amazingly hard to coordinate fundraising activities organised annually by Epilepsy Action. These have included cycling challenges such as “Ride London” last July, running challenges such as the “Great North Run” last September, the October “Royal Parks Half Marathon” and a festive December “Reindeer Stampede”. Plus we have forthcoming the “Bradford 10k” in March – which Alex is running! And April’s “London Marathon” as our exercise finale. Circlers have either been encouraged to take part in the different races, or to offer their support volunteering at cheerleading points to spur everyone on!
Across the UK GB&I Circlers have also taken part collectively in charity bag packs in supermarkets, held last September/October; and in March we will be celebrating “Purple Day” with lots of collective activities being organised in workplaces and schools.
Our Nordic Hat winner Jaclyn Pannell from Wilmslow Circle has been fundraising for Epilepsy Action in her fascinator since she won the award back in May. She started cycling 500km in the Virtual race we held back in July. She then took part in Trekfest, a 25k walk in the peaks. She ran the famous Aintree Racecourse and a Manchester 10k run. Jaclyn was also involved in the Reindeer Stampede, did her first ever boot sale, and she even put herself up for auction, volunteering her time to help someone that needed it. Jaclyn did all this while wearing her Nordic hat so not only has she raised a fantastic amount of £1500 for charity this Circle year but has also got the Ladies Circle name out there. Wouldn’t you ask a lady running a race why she was wearing a fascinator?
In addition to supporting our National Charity, each Circle will also support their own local Charity. There are many activities that our Circlers have Jumped on board with but here are a couple that are a little unique. After a brewery tour one evening, Winchester Ladies Circle decided to join forces with their local brewery, Red Cat Brewing to produce their own Crazy Cat Beer. They have sold it to members and friends at their Quiz night and also Burns Night held to raise money for The Romsey Opportunity Group. Well done to Winchester Ladies Circle, they are on target to raising £500 through their Ladies Circle Crazy Cat Beer.
Beverley Ladies Circle Jumped on Board by raising money for their local Charities, The Lullaby Trust and Abbie’s fund by teaming up with their local cinema and showing the recent film of 50 Shades Darker. They charged local businesses to attend and sell their products including Ann Summers. Their local Round Table were very supportive and also helped out by wearing tuxedos and serving fizz to the 140 ladies that attended. They raised £1364 which will be split between the 2 charities. Fantastic work.
Our Circlers have truly “Jumped On Board” with 80’s discos, barn dances, boot sales, race nights, psychic nights, fashion shows, masquerade balls, pamper days, coffee mornings, quiz nights, vintage parties, Easter egg hunts and curry nights. I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my sincere thanks for all support and we are looking forward to more fundraising activities in Charity March.
Yours in Friendship,
2016-17 National President
National Association of Ladies’ Circles
(Great Britain & Ireland)