Let them eat cake!

Interact charity day

Running total: £8,162

As you can see, that running total has jumped up significantly in the past week.

This is big money – and a lot more than my initial target of £5k. But how did this happen?

Many reasons – and all down to the kind readers of the blog and people who have heard about this challenge through every single runner of the 30for30 challenge – particularly the marathon runners. I can’t thank everyone enough.

But there’s another huge reason that we have raised a big amount of money in a short space of time…

Every quarter, the company I work for (Interact) hosts a charity day in the office to raise funds for charities that we, the employees, feel close to and want to fundraise for.

There’s a little vote that happens and most recently, Jemma put it forward that we do the fundraising for the 30for30 challenge.

Everyone was keen for this and we planned our big day for last Friday 26th October – the week before we go.

We had a think of some fun ideas that we could do to raise as much money as possible:

  • a cake sale (the go-to fundraising activity of choice)
  • pastries and smoothies for breakfast
  • donate our free Friday lunch funds
  • silent auction for an extra days holiday
  • wear your workout gear to work day
  • a 1km fun run round the block
  • fundraising link in email signatures

Obviously we had to keep productivity to a maximum and not take the biscuit  – but we thought these would be little winners to raise a bit of extra cash.

Well a little bit of extra cash was an understatement.

Emily, our amazing Office Administrator, worked really hard to make the day a success. She contacted local coffee shops and cake makers to donate cakes for the sale and organised it so we could sell to the whole office block, not just our business. She ordered lots of special bits for the breakfast and made posters to stick around the office to build excitement for the day.

My friend, Tom’s Mum made some excellent cakes for the half way fun run, so I requested some more of the same. She dropped these off on the Thursday night and along with my signature ‘Brammie Dodger Cupcakes’ and Mum’s chocolate bites, I headed to the office expecting these to pretty much make the bulk of the baking.

I was wrong.

SO many people had made the effort to bake and/or bring stuff in to the office for the sale. As soon as I saw the table, I knew that I would be eating nothing more that day – maybe just cake until Christmas at this rate…

There were banana muffins, chocolate orange cupcakes, cookies, parkin, white chocolate cakes, strawberry cheesecake cupcakes, lemon drizzle, oreo donuts, rice crispie cakes. Literally EVERYTHING.

Local businesses, Common Ground and Fab Patisserie also donated some tasty treats which went down exceptionally well.

Jemma had ordered some personalised 30for30 bunting to put up in the kitchen 😍 and bought some brilliantly tacky NYC decorations. It was just amazing. 🗽🗽

By 11am there were notes and coins filling the donation tin and come midday we were ready to get the cakes budged in the main reception of the building.

We took it in turns to spend the lunch shifts downstairs shouting CAKE at anyone that walked past. How could they resist?!

After a slow start, we shifted A LOT of the cakes. I felt a bit like a candidate off The Apprentice by the end. People were buying in bulk, coming to talk to us about what we were doing and why.

After this, we went back up to the office and began counting what we had sold.

At this point I got a bit emotional. Doing everything online and behind a screen, it can come a bit disconnected. Seeing people put as much effort in and hand over their money – whatever they had – to buy cakes and do anything they could to help us. It was just really heart-warming and hit home again why we were doing this whole day. For Adam…

At 3pm the results were read out for the silent auction for the extra days holiday. A kind bidding of £133 won the day off and added to the overall total.

Last but definitely not least was the main event – the 1k fun run.

Around 20 of us (walkers and runners) set off on the challenging route through Altrincham… Thanks to our favourite Friday boozer, Pi, we had a beer station at the half way point instead of a water station…Definitely the main reason people signed up.

There was a £50 amazon voucher up for grabs for the winner and after sizing up the competition, James sprinted off to make sure he bagged that. As James didn’t want to wear his workout gear to work, he was sprinting through Altrincham in his jeans looking like he had just robbed something and was being chased by a bunch of lunatics. It was fun though.

I’m a bit ashamed to say that the 1km fun run was one of the hardest races of 30for30 so far. Likely due to the diet of cake all day and the constant laughing and not being able to breathe.

We counted up our funds from the day, and after expecting a couple of hundred quid, we were all surprised to add up £600 (plus some online donations!)

Amazing for a days fundraising in the office and again, so overwhelming.

Thanks to everyone at Interact for all of the support – from baking cakes to buying cakes, running the race to standing out handing the beer. All of the kind words and donations – and of course listening to us all over the past few months when we’ve gone on and on about the NY marathon.

I’ve worked at Interact for 7+ years now and I do count myself lucky that back in 2016 during the worst months of my life, I had support from my workplace. Ever since, we’ve hosted days in the office to promote and raise awareness for better mental health. Interact have backed us again with this charity day and kindly got us personalised tops to wear for the day ❤️🗽 I look forward to meeting the team in the US there who have also made us a fabulous sign to cheer us on – just what I’ve always wanted during these 30 races 😂 #PoweredByInteract

To sponsor Jemma, Steph, Rachel and I for the final race of the 30for30 challenge, please visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaBramwell2

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