I feel closely connected with Down’s syndrome as I worked with people with Down’s (in an administrative role) for years and a friend of mine (K) continues to work supporting clients with this condition.
In addition to this, a very close friend of K’s had a beautiful baby last year who has Down’s, so with this very special and beloved little girl in mind, K decided to raise money by organising a quiz night near tot 21st March, World Down’s Syndrome Day (WDSD).
K has helped me many times in my fund raising events so when she asked me if I would do the catering I was very happy to do so.
Once a venue was found, the organising ‘committee’ met to discuss who would be responsible for what. I had done some rough costing for the ploughman’s suppers we would be serving, others had got publicity and packs from the Down’s Syndrome association, K had booked the venue, and she had the mammoth task of co-ordinating everything.
I have organised many events over the years, and it can be quite difficult to get people to buy tickets too far ahead of time. I am very used to arranging to do things in advance as concerts have to be planned well ahead, but many people are not used to doing this and will leave it until the last moment to actually committing themselves. Quite nerve wracking for the organisers, let me tell you!
And so at the beginning of the week of the quiz we had sold 35 tickets, but two days later the numbers had gone up to 51! That meant catering for around 60 including helpers.
A ploughman’s supper is a simple dish – cheese, bread and butter, pickle/chutney and pickled onions. I decided to also add in some cherry tomatoes for colour and because I like them!
Before we left for the venue, I cut all the cheese into 75-100g portions. I also cut the butter into 10g pats, drained the pickled onions and put them in a bowl and did the same with the pickle rather than dealing with jars. We packed everything up, including tea, coffee, milk, sugar and 15 baguettes and headed out.
The venue was a church hall which gave K a very reasonable rate as it was a charity event. We arrived at 6pm to set up for a 7.30 quiz start but with the doors opening at 7pm, that meant only an hour to get everything sorted.
However, a visual way of showing your support for WDSD is to wear odd socks and so we did, and I just had time to take some photos…..
While the others were busy in the main hall, my dear friend, another K (K2!) and I scurried off into the kitchen where we were (largely) to remain for the rest of the evening.
The kitchen was very well appointed with lots of crockery and cutlery. In addition there was an industrial dishwasher, a mains fed water urn and two trolleys which made plating up a lot easier.
We couldn’t prepare the suppers too early so we concentrated on familiarising ourselves with where everything was, opening cupboards and drawers until we had a pretty good idea of where to find things.
The urn went on immediately and we set out things for teas and coffees as we knew that people were likely to want a drink when they arrived.
By the time the first quizzers arrived the hall was looking pretty welcoming.
As predicted we did a fast trade in teas and coffees and before we knew it it was quiz time.
My husband John had volunteered to be quizmaster and did a great job. He teases everyone mercilessly no matter who they are and they all seem to love it and give back as good as they get!
Before K2 and I knew where we were it was the last round before supper. The suppers were largely plated up and just needed handing round together with cutlery. K2 and I barely got a chance to eat our own supper as everyone wanted more tea and coffee. Our donation bowl got heavier all the while which was great.
By the end of the quiz, as we saw the last of the quizzers leave and the helpers started clearing up it was clear that we had made a considerable amount. In addition to our hot drinks, there were cakes and soft drinks and a raffle, and people had been very generous in their donations.
John and I had a concert the following day so we left K and her helpers to do the last little bit of clearing up. The time was 11.00pm
Tired, footsore and happy. Final amount raised -£691.97. and 8 hours towards GoT. Absolutely brilliant.