How my foodie passion was a recipe for fundraising success

Last year, Sue Ryder supporter Gill Cameron took her passion for food and travel, and combined it to create her very own foodie fundraiser in support of her local hospice, Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court. Over the course of the year she raised £2,020, and fed an estimated 250 people! In this blog post, Gill shares her recipe for success.

Foodie fundraiser Gill Cameron
“I thought: 'Why not combine my cookery skills and raise funds for my local hospice?'”
Gill at one of her fundraisers holding tubs of food
“I charge £10 per set menu and people often bring their own tubs in order to reduce waste and unnecessary plastic too.”
Gill with Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Community Fundraiser Megan Platt
Gill with Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Community Fundraiser Megan Platt.
Some of Gill's ingredients
Gill uses all fresh ingredients and makes everything by hand.
Gill making her own Japanese gyoza
Gill making her own Japanese gyoza.
Gyoza cooking

I am a passionate cook and a keen traveller, and I try to take a cookery course whenever I travel. This means I have had the opportunity to develop my cooking skills, as well as experience different cultures and cuisines.

I thought: 'Why not combine my skills and knowledge and raise funds for my local hospice?'

My mum, Jennifer Ashford, was cared for by the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice at Home team in her final weeks. Mum battled myeloma bone cancer for almost eight years and it finally beat her on 6th November 2017.

It was the outstanding care given to my family that inspired me to create a foodie fundraiser in support of the hospice throughout 2018.

On the menu

For my first fundraiser in February 2018, I served up a Thai green curry or chickpea and butternut squash Massaman curry. This was served with rice, green papaya salad and prawn crackers.

May 2018 was Tapas, which included meatballs, slow roasted belly pork in a thick tomato sauce, aubergine and goats cheese with honey, paella, and Spanish tortilla with olives.

October’s fundraiser was Japanese cuisine. I served Japanese chicken curry or teriyaki mushroom and tofu, with rice, seaweed and soy omelette, vegetable gyoza wontons and an edamame bean salad.

December was Indian with chicken saag, poppadoms and lentil dhal.

I charge £10 per set menu, and people often bring their own tubs in order to reduce waste and unnecessary plastic too.

I post an event on Facebook a few weeks before and allow friends and family to invite other people. I offer two pick-up slots, one at the family home in Cheltenham and the other at my home in Gloucester.  

As for allergies, I make sure I’m careful to ensure everyone understands that my kitchen contains every allergen imaginable so they should not order if they have allergies. I can, however, easily cater for vegetarians and offer a completely vegetarian menu each time too.

Growing tastes

Last year I successfully held four events, each of which raised approximately £500. My target for 2018 was to raise £2,000 for the hospice and I actually raised £2,020, so just made it! Friends and family love my foodie fundraisers and have been really supportive. My events are getting quite well known now, and everyone really enjoys the opportunity to try different tastes too.

My sisters, Ang Healy and Phai Ashford, help with some of the vegetable preparation and my niece helped by serving at one event to gain her ‘Helping the Community’ Scout Badge too, so our foodie fundraising has been a family affair as well.

A connection to my local hospice

I feel a huge connection to Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice. When I was a baby, my family lived in one of the houses on the Sue Ryder estate and I was christened at St Peter’s, the church at the bottom of the hospice driveway too. Along with Mum being cared for by the Hospice at Home team, my Grandpa was also a patient in the hospice in the 1980s.

The Hospice at Home team are absolutely amazing – they helped enable Mum to pass away peacefully at home with her family surrounding her. Sue Ryder gave us the respite we needed to sleep at night with their nightsitters. The team also came in twice a day to care for Mum and gave us invaluable advice about what would happen, every step of the way, during Mum’s final weeks.

I am thrilled that I have been able to use my passion and skills to help give something back to the hospice so more people can be looked after like we were.

Got the taste for fundraising?

If Gill’s foodie fundraisers have given you the taste to fundraise for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice too, why not get in touch with the local fundraising team for hints, tips and advice on how to create your own recipe for fundraising success?

Email leckhampton.fundraising@sueryder.org or call 01242 246 285 to take your first steps into fundraising.

Author

Sue Ryder supporter Gill Cameron

Daughter of patient

Gill Cameron

Gill's mum Jennifer was cared for at our Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice in Cheltenham. Since her death, Gill has raised funds through her love of cooking.