Last month, I organised and hosted a Macmillan Coffee Morning at the Wildfire office for the sixth time since joining the team back in 2016.
Over the years, the generous lot at Wildfire HQ has raised hundreds of pounds for this worthwhile cause over the years, all by baking — and then scoffing — cakes and baked goods of all shapes, sizes, and flavours.
It’s become a bit of a calendar event for the Wildfire team, not only getting everyone together for a bit of team bonding over a delicious slice of lemon drizzle or tasty homemade sausage roll, but also bringing that feel-good mood to the Boathouse office.
So, what exactly went down on the big day and why do we cook up a storm for charity each year?
Rising to the occasion
Behind the scenes, various team members donned their aprons, rolled up their sleeves and dusted off their rolling pins to whip up a range of glorious goodies for their colleagues. The treats were then lovingly packaged up and carefully transported from various places across Surrey and London and into Kingston, before being beautifully displayed in our make-shift cake shop (aka the boardroom).
Once again, there were some amazing, homemade delights this year. I’m always impressed with the baking skills of my colleagues. But this year everyone outdid themselves.
We had tasty tiffin, beautiful brownies, crumbly caramel oat slices, blissful blueberry muffins and moreish millionaire’s shortbread — to name a few!
Despite complaints from an impatient few, we kicked off proceedings at 11 am — the perfect time for a sweet treat! — and everyone dug deep for the charity. This year, the brainboxes at Macmillan made it easier than ever for people to donate by offering new ways to pay – perfect for those who don’t carry cash (who does??)
Luckily for me, my desk is strategically placed within a few paces of the boardroom, so I could sneak in and out almost undetected whenever those cravings hit. It also meant that I could see all the buzz, excitement, and activity throughout the day as people kept their sugar levels up – I can assure you that plenty of people kept coming back for more! All in all, a sweet and successful day.
It’s not just Wildfire who are getting in on a slice of this action (see what I did there?). Across the UK, thousands of individuals and companies host their own Coffee Mornings, with every penny raised going directly to support people living with cancer. In 2021, this raised over £11 million, and the hope is that this year the team will break that already incredible record.
Many of you will know about the charity already and the great work it does to support people who have been diagnosed with cancer, as well as acting as a resource for their friends and families. Macmillan understands that the disease can impact people’s whole lives – not just their health, but also their family, job, and financial situation.
The team of amazing volunteers, campaigners and experts provide emotional, physical, and financial support for people living with cancer at every stage of their experience, as well as conducting research into cancer care, influencing decision-makers, and supporting cancer care staff, among other essential services.
For me, it’s also a charity that’s particularly close to my heart. Like many, this horrible disease has affected my family and loved ones — but I also know all about it first-hand, having been diagnosed with cancer myself in my mid-twenties. One of the (few) silver linings of that overwhelming and traumatic experience is the incredible friends I’ve met along the way who have also benefitted immensely from the services that Macmillan provides – everything from providing emotional support for their loved ones to a very memorable and totally hilarious free makeup session where we drew on some new, and very questionable, eyebrows!
So, it’s safe to say that the Macmillan Coffee Morning will remain an annual celebration in the Wildfire calendar. I know it’s something that I’ll continue to arrange and support as long as there are cakes to be made – and eaten of course! It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it.
For me, combining this important company-wide initiative with some tasty treats was an easy decision – a cakewalk, if you will! However, it’s by no means only altruistic activity that’s happening at Wildfire.
In fact, for those of you who have been keeping an eye on this blog and our social channels over the past few months, you’ll know that we recently announced our fifth value – ‘Do Good’ – focusing on how we can make a positive difference to our clients, community, and society, and support movements that make change. Watch out for more on that in the coming months.