This month we launched our brand-new Fundraising Pack – your go-to resource for all things fundraising! To celebrate the contributions of our fab fundraisers, today’s guest blogger is Sophie Pitches, a fundraising volunteer who recently threw an Action Foundation Garden Party…

When it came to deciding on a theme for our Action Foundation Garden Party, we initially had so many ideas and didn’t know where to start. But the more we thought (and definitely over-thought) what we could offer that would appeal to our guests, we decided to keep it simple and go for a coffee-morning style event. We’ve always considered ourselves to be good bakers, but I think we surpassed ourselves with the amount of cake we made this time!

Setting up

Plants and Cakes

We would have loved to have been able to offer an open invite to all our friends and neighbours for the event, but unfortunately due to Covid restrictions (and our coffee and Pimms supplies!), this wasn’t possible. Instead we made sure to stick to the government guidelines and invite no more than 30 people.

Katie and Abi at AF were so supportive when it came to help for our do! They sent us a pack with all the information about the charity’s many programmes as well as offering us buckets of support.

But the majority of our time preparing for the event was spent baking a selection of cakes and making sure we had enough chairs! It really is so easy to hold your own garden party.

How it went

Flowers and party guests

We were a little worried on the morning of our fundraiser that the heavens were going to open, and that no-one was going to turn up to a soggy garden party… but we’re very lucky to have loyal neighbours and the sun came out just in time for people to arrive at 11!

We decided not to set a specific donation but instead we made it a ‘give what you feel’ event. We asked people to use some of the hand sanitiser we provided and handed out name labels for people’s plastic cups to avoid any mix-ups! People could come through the garage to the back garden so everyone could stay safe and comfortable in the open air.

Our next-door neighbours, Geoffrey and Margaret, organised a raffle with some special prizes, including some pieces donated by local artist Cath Hodson up for grabs. We also had a little plant sale and a book sale, so there were a few ways in which our guests could support Action Foundation.

Community Spirit


Sophie's Action Foundation Garden Party

We were aware that it was the first time for a long time that many of our guests had been to a gathering of more than six people so we tried to keep the whole thing as simple as possible while also having fun! It helped that everyone was on great form too – so laid-back and just happy to be catching up with one another after so long.

Any advice?

Don’t overthink it! We had worried that no one was going to come, that we wouldn’t have enough cake (or enough to drink!) and that our guests wouldn’t be entertained. But fortunately we were proven wrong. After this last year I think people have a lot of patience and are just so happy to be spending time with friendly faces – it’s the perfect excuse to have one big old catch up!

Thanks so much to Sophie, her mum Pauline and all her wonderful guests. Their Action Foundation Garden Party raised a whopping £285 for refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants across Tyne and Wear.

If you’d like to throw your own fundraiser, you can check out our free Fundraising Pack or get in touch with [email protected]!

Download our Fundraising Pack