We have many wonderful individuals who volunteer their time to support Smile, and we are thankful to each and every one of them.
If you have some time to spare, there are lots of opportunities to help out, whether in our charity shop, at our centre, or out and about supporting our fundraising activities.
Here is a lovely letter written by a group of volunteer fundraisers who have been supporting Smile since 2014:
"It all started one July morning in 2014. As a group of ladies who work out at Energie Fitness for Women in Havant, we decided to raise some money for charity. We got ourselves organised and in November 2014 did a fundraiser. In the Portsmouth News around that time was an article about the new Smile Centre in Waterlooville, which needed to raise money to furnish the finished building. Already in the gym was a big toy box made by a member's husband, which members had filled with toys. It was decided to contact Smile and ask if they would like it. We invited Stuart Baldwin from Smile along to accept the toy box and from that morning we adopted Smile as our charity and the ASBOS (Active Smiling Beautiful Over-Sixties) ladies were born!
With Christmas over, we decided to start fundraising with a tombola in Havant's Meridian Centre. We booked Saturday 9 May 2015 and started to collect items for a table by putting a box in the gym and members and friends kindly donated their unwanted items. By the time the day came round we had a really good display. We added the air of surprise by having some prizes wrapped so you did not know what you were winning. This idea went down a treat and seemed to help sell tickets. Boswells Coffee Shop also very kindly allowed us to go around their customers with Smile collection buckets which added to our total. We also had the ladies playing the piano for us which helped attract people.
For our next venture we were asked if we would like to put out a table at the Waterlooville Summer Fete in August 2015. Again, the members at Energie and friends did us proud by donating gifts for another tombola. It was decided to keep the same format as this worked well for us. It was a beautiful sunny day and at one stage we had so many people wanting to have a go they were three to four deep!
In January 2016 after having a chat over coffee it was decided to ask the manager of the Meridian Centre if we could book a Saturday near Easter to do another tombola. He agreed and we again put our box in the gym and members and friends filled it up a number of times allowing us to have a fantastic table of prizes. Two ladies played the piano in the morning and Boswells let us go around with our buckets. Another great day of fundraising!
As a group we are now gearing up for the Waterlooville Summer Fete on Sunday 22 August 2016 and will be asking our friends and members of the gym to dig deep again to fill our table. If you can please come along and support Smile at this event it would be greatly appreciated.
During the year we have had opportunities to visit the Smile Centre and have seen where all the money goes and this has inspired us to continue supporting Smile. So far the ASBOS (Active Smiling Beautiful Over-Sixties) have raised approximately £1,200!