We’re delighted to report that after several weeks of hard work and careful planning and a large helping of goodwill, an ‘Evening with Colm & Laura’ followed by the ‘Gift of Time’ auction on 13th October were a resounding success, with a phenomenal grand total of £11730 raised!
Highlights of the evening, which took place at Websters Theatre in Glasgow, included a magnificent performance from Scottish Television news anchor, Halla Mohieddeen, who was kind enough to play the role of host and auctioneer for no fee and at very short notice – and on her birthday, no less.
And not to overlook the beautiful musical performance provided by Colm and Laura, who donated the entire door take of over £2,000 to Claire and put on the gig for free, again at very short notice.
The generosity of bidders was remarkable and moving. One lady, a cancer survivor from Toronto, bid £85 for the offer of a cake to be baked and delivered once a month for six months. Upon payment she requested the cakes be delivered to Claire to help her feel better during her treatment. Another bidder paid £120 for a Rossini restaurant voucher which was only worth £50. And the list goes on.
The whole night was thought up and organised by Claire’s good friend Emily Cutts, with some help from her mum and some of Claire’s other friends and family. Despite the need for a vast amount of preparation and planning (including gathering and sorting about 40 lots to be auctioned off and the added complexity of an online element to the auction, not to mention all of the work involved on the night), Emily took it in her stride, resulting in not only a massive amount of money raised, but also a wonderful evening of music, laughter and life-affirming acts of generosity.
Emily is no stranger to fighting in the name of a good cause. Here’s what Claire had to say about her:
“If there is anyone you want on your side should you be facing adversity that person is Emily Cutts.
I first met Emily at a playgroup back in 2011 which was under threat of closure because there were only a couple of parents keeping it going every Friday morning. It was such a relief when Emily arrived on the scene with her two children, one of whom was strapped to her back. She had loads of ideas and such infectious enthusiasm we were soon unabashedly singing nursery rhymes to a crowded hall of new recruits. Many of those people went on to become part of Emily’s army of eco-campaigners that revolutionised a little patch of green space just over the road from our playgroup and turned it into the unique oasis that is now called the Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow.
I remember helping Emily and her husband put down the first log stepping stones in the Children’s Wood. They came from a tree in her mother’s garden. I had no idea where these stepping stones would lead. Today, the Wood is a wonderful and diverse community. From kids with multiple disabilities to the nurseries and primary schools that play on the land. From the dog walkers and the gardeners that cultivate the raised beds to the bees in the community ‘bee-cot’: it is a space to be treasured and celebrated.
Emily really is a force of nature, approaching life with such an optimistic attitude and an almost unhinged ‘anything is possible’ philosophy of life. She is a mad genius. I love her and her ability to tenaciously hang on to her vision and rise above the odds to achieve it. What she has achieved with the Children’s Wood and North Kelvin Meadow is such an inspiration and just goes to show what a strong community can do to help others.
I am so lucky to have Emily as a friend and on my team”
…And so, a big thank you to Emily; all of those who helped her with organising the night including Emily’s lovely mum and Claire’s sister-in-law, Gill; to Halla, Colm and Laura; to all of those who donated gifts of time and possessions; and of course to all of the generous bidders.
There are a lot of dreadful and depressing things happening in the world today, so stories like this: of people like Emily and a community willing to work together and give of their time, talents and money in order to help someone in need, really do make the world a better place.