We've been a little sad at FDHQ today as it's the last day of the wonderful Gemma Murphy working for us.
Gemma has been a Referrals Coordinator for the past 3 and a half years, working to pull together sets of clothing and equipment for children AND coordinating our team of around 40 volunteers. She's been a massive part of the First Days story and we are all so sorry to see her go.
A Sad Goodbye
For each cot, moses basket or other bed we give out we buy a brand new mattress, providing children with a safe place to sleep. Each mattress costs an average of £20 and we give out around 300 beds each year.
We were therefore delighted to be awarded £1000 by The National Lottery Community Fund to go towards this expense as part of their 25th birthday celebrations.
A huge thank you to #Nationallottery funding and players therefore, as their support allows us to buy 50 new mattresses for the children we support.
Making sure that everything we give out to families is in good condition and in safe working order is a major part of how we process stock. Most things we can check ourselves, but not everything. We therefore need to say a huge thank you to Robb from Southern Pat Testing who came into the office today and PAT tested all our electrical items for us free of charge.
We moved into our warehouse in the village of Hurst around 18 months ago and it's been great to feel part of such a friendly village over that time. So we were delighted to learn that the local Hurst Morris People have chosen us to be their charity of the year for 2020. Today they visited the warehouse for a tour and to learn more about what we do (and to let us know their plans for the coming year).
A massive thanks to Debbie & Sarah who organised a second-hand book sale this month to raise money for First Days. Sarah's husband Mark will be taking part in RideLondon for First Days and Debbie's husband Paul is joining him AND also running Reading Half Marathon supporting First Days. Their other fundraising efforts have included selling candle gift bags and a chocolate raffle. Currently their fundraising efforts has raised over £1500, which is just AMAZING.
Sing Sing Sing!
We want to say a huge THANK YOU to Wokingham Rock Choir. Our Referrals Manager Maria went along to meet the singers, give them a talk about the charity and receive with a cheque for a whopping £1000!
Support like this really does make a difference to us. To paraphrase The Beatles, we get by with a little help from our friends.
Check out those shiny medals!
Have you heard about one of the great ways you can get fit, get a medal (the best bit!) and support First Days all at once in 2020??
We are hosting our first ever virtual race!
You sign up, run (or walk or even swim, like one of our supporters!) 20km (or just 2km if you're a child!) and then wear this amazing medal with pride!
Emma Cantrell, First Days founder, is running 2020 kilometres in 2020 to enable us to help thousands more children living in poverty
We would like one thing for the future of the charity: to close the doors for good, unable to find anyone who needs our help.
However, whilst there are 4.5 million children in the UK living in poverty, there is very little chance of our wishes coming true. In fact, we need to be able to expand our service in order to help all the families who need it.
So, Emma has taken on this huge challenge, to raise over £20,000, to be able to launch a service that will help children across the country.
Read more about Run 2020 here: https://www.firstdays.net/run2020
Get involved today! Run with Emma, sponsor the challenge or take on a challenge of your own!