FUNDRAISING AND AWARENESS
We get no regular funding and most of the money we need we have to raise ourselves. We have developed our own special ‘Smiley Face’ tombolas with special happy sad faces which we run as a way of raising money, while also having lots of fun. We engage with our customers and make sure our prizes are good, while offering consolation prizes where appropriate. In a typical year we would usually run these tombolas at around twenty events and are quite well known now at some of the regular annual ones.
But as well as raising money, these events also help us to raise awareness of baby loss and to create a ‘safe’ environment where people can talk to us about their own baby loss. Over the years we have chatted to hundreds of bereaved parents, many of whom have rarely or never talked about their babies, but were able to start chatting after coming over to buy tombola tickets. One mum told us at an event that she had not spoken to anyone about her baby for over forty years – seeing us at a fair and coming over to by some tickets made it easier for her to talk about her special baby, Jennifer. These activities really are important on both levels.
We also give talks and presentations to lots of groups and organisations including Women’s Institutes, Homestart volunteers, Children Centre staff, Samaritans volunteers, retirement and social groups, Scout and Guide volunteers, as well as 500 young people through the National Citizens Service. Again, these events create safe environments where people can feel comfortable telling us about their own experiences, as well as learning about the figures, and the support available now days. One talk to 15 people at a WI meeting resulted in several sharing with their group their own stories of baby loss – finding they were not as alone as they thought.
If you are involved in any group in East Kent and would like us to come along, please let us know. We can offer anything from a five-minute slot to a couple of hours. We never charge and are available weekdays and weekends, daytime and evening. Do, please, also let us know of any fates and fairs etc. anywhere in East Kent that we could attend with our Smiley Face tombolas!
If you would like to get involved in some of our events, perhaps helping at a tombola, or helping with publicity, please get in touch with us for a chat. We are quite friendly!
We have always been proud of the fact that we have been able to raise enough money through fundraising and donations to cover our costs and any other year would have expected to raise around £5k during the summer. But because of Coronavirus, that has not been possible and we have just a token amount in the bank. Our main costs are the annual maintenance contract for the Garden, insurance, storage of equipment, events and modest ‘admin’ costs, and we also need to build up a reserve for future years to make sure the Garden is there for ever. At the same time, we don’t want to increase the name tiles costs beyond the current £40.
We have applied for some grants, but ideally, we would like to raise money to make sure our finances are safe for the coming years. We have never appealed for money in the past, but we are in some very strange times and if you feel you could make a donation – however small – that would be much appreciated.
Donations can be made direct to our bank (account name ‘East Kent Baby Memorial Gardens Group’, sort code 23-05-80, account number 38580124), via
or by post to 13 Goldings Court, Ashford TN24 9JR.
We have another busy year ahead of us and this is our planned calendar for 2022. Some of the dates and details may change, and we’ll update and add details as necessary during the year.
Wed 23 Feb 2022 Raising awareness at ‘Work the Room’ event for 15-18 year olds, Ashford
Sun 3 Apr 2022 Raising awareness at Kent Scouts’ ReActivat8 event at Chatham Dockyard
Sun 17 Apr 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Spring Fair at the Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone
Sun 24 Apr 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Spring Fair at Whitstable Castle Spring Fair
Mon 2 May 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Headcorn School’s May Fair
Fri/Sat 6/7 May 2022 Raising awareness at the Volunteer Expo, Birmingham
Sat 4 Sun 2022 Smiley Face Tombola, Jubilee Music Weekend, The Leas, Folkestone
Sun 5 Jun 2022 Smiley Face Tombola, Jubilee Spring Fair, Watercress Fields Fair, Ashford
Mon 6 Jun 2022 Raising awareness at the Swale Showcasing day, Sittingbourne
Sat 11 Jun 2022 Smiley Face Tombola in Ashford Town Centre
Sat 18 June 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Great Chart Jubilee Fair
Sat 25 Jun 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at the Kennington Fair, Ashford
Sun 26 Jun 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at the Armed Forces Day, Ashford
Sun 10 Jul 2022 Teddy Bears Picnic, Ashford Baby Memorial Garden
Mon 18 Jul (& 1/8 Aug) Raising awareness through National Citizens Scheme, Sittingbourne
Sat 6 & Sun 7 Aug 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Folkestone Vintage Music and Air Show
Sat 13 Aug 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Folkestone Lions’ Donkey Derby
Sat/Sun 20/21 Aug 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at Tractorfest, Biddenden
Mon 29 Aug 2022 Supporting the Fun Day run for us by the Singleton Barn, Ashford
Sat 10 Sep 2022 Smiley Face Tombola in Ashford Town Centre
Wed 14 Sep 2022 Raising awareness at Ashford College’s Freshers Fair
Sat 24 Sep 2022 Smiley Face Tombola at the Urban Fair Pencester Gardens, Dover
Sat 8 Oct 2022 Baby Loss Awareness Week – possible stand in County Square, Ashford
Sat 15 Oct 2022 Wave of Light
Sat 5 Nov 2022 Christmas Smiley Face Tombola at Highworth School’s Craft Fair
Sun 13 Nov 2022 Christmas Smiley Face Tombola, Leas Cliff Hall Xmas Fair, Folkestone
Sat 3 Dec 2022 Christmas Smiley Face Tombola at the Victoria Park Xmas Fair, Ashford
Sat 10 Dec 2022 Christmas Smiley Face Tombola at Halling Christmas Fair
Dec 2022 Santa Street Collection with Ashford Lions (dates to be determined)