Please tell us a little bit about yourself
I am a mother of 3 (2 girls and a boy aged 17, 16 and 12) and run a company called L’Aquila based in London specialising in further processed Mediterranean Vegetable Ingredients. I started the company up 30 years ago previous to which I held a marketing management role for a food packaging company and owned an Italian fine dining and pizza and pasta restaurant.
What made you choose to support Hope for Children?
My relationship with Hope for Children goes back over 20 years being a friend and great admirer of the founder, Dr Robert Parsons. The sincerity, honesty, and mission of the charity greatly impressed me as it continues to do.
In your own words, how have you supported Hope for Children in the past?
My support in the early years when Hope for Children had just recently been set up was to try and enlist Patrons and then it was to organise annual fundraising events to support the projects Hope were involved with and enable them to take on more. These events included an annual dinner and dance, marathon walk, concerts, tea dances, truffle auctions, etc. In addition to which I sought corporate sponsorship and we were very lucky to start a relationship with RBS Dexia who very kindly involved us in their annual charity auction which gave Hope the funds to take on larger projects which the sponsor continued to support. When the Tsunami hit Hope did not have any excess funds to help all those affected by the disaster which happened to be in the areas Hope was involved in so I organised numerous additional events also getting support from my local church, school, etc and we managed to raise sufficient funds to start the fostering programme of all the orphans which Dr Parsons set up.
Tell us about how you organised the Walk of Hope. Did you always think it would be such a success?
The Walk of Hope was started in a desperate attempt to raise urgent funds for the victims of the Tsunami. It was and still is a local event involving friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, etc. We set ourselves a challenge by making it a full 26 mile marathon and were very surprised and grateful for all the support we received raising in excess of £15,000 on our first walk. The event was a success and all the walkers really enjoyed the challenge so we decided to repeat it the following year and ever since biannually however we now also have a half marathon and mini marathon walk alongside the full marathon enabling families to be involved and younger children.
Are you currently looking forward to another event?
Apart from the next Walk of Hope I am looking forward to supporting Hope at The Hope Ball on the 19th October 2017.
What tips do you have for those who would like to organise their own Hope for Children event or take part in a challenge?
The most important motivation is the project the funds will go to support and it is important to relay this message to spur people on and give them a reason to take part and energy to promote it. Once you understand the project, the amount of money required then you can decide how you might be able to raise this. Organising events do take a lot of time and effort and require good planning so that the maximum amount of benefit is gained.