For the past six years, MS Trust supporters have been opening their gardens and holding outdoor events to raise funds as part of our summer My Garden Party campaign. 12-year-old Megan Cass tells us about the garden party she held to support families like hers that are affected by MS, and why she’ll be doing the same again this summer.
I first learnt about the MS Trust when my dad was diagnosed with MS and we got some of their publications about understanding MS. Through reading the books and using the MS Trust website, my knowledge of MS and the MS Trust grew. My mum and dad have raised money through sponsored events but I wanted to do something to raise money for the Trust myself.
When I saw the My Garden Party campaign on their website I wanted to organise one. It started off as a small idea but quickly grew. I invited family and friends and asked them all to wear something blue. We decorated the garden with blue and white bunting and my dad even painted the decking blue and white.
We organised a raffle and got lots of lovely prizes donated, from a night away in a hotel to hair straighteners and a cuddly toy. My brother did a great job selling raffle tickets to everyone who came. My neighbour also donated a big bottle of champagne for a game where people had to guess the number he had sealed in an envelope.
To keep the younger children entertained, we had soft play and a giant Operation game donated for the afternoon. My uncle set up a little photo booth with some props that we’d bought so that people could have a reminder of the day. Dad was in charge of the barbecue for the afternoon and cooked sausages and beef burgers.
I also held a bake off and over 20 people entered. My brother and I were the judges. Some people had never baked cakes before but wanted to support us. All the bakers won a wooden spoon trimmed with blue and white ribbon and trophies were awarded for best looking cake and overall best cake. We all enjoyed the cakes, although some were better than others!
Everybody who came said they enjoyed it and many people asked if I would be holding another party this year. It was lovely to see everyone joining in, wearing blue and helping me raise money. It was a great afternoon and although it was very busy, I really enjoyed it.
When my mum counted the money I couldn’t believe that my garden party had raised £1,000 for the MS Trust! I was really happy. To put the cherry on the cake, I wrote to Blue Peter and got awarded a Blue Peter badge for raising the money to help people with MS.
I am starting to make plans for another My Garden Party this year, but I am not sure what theme to go for yet.
Could you host a garden party for the MS Trust?
If an afternoon of tea, coffee, champagne, cakes and spending time with friends and family sounds up your street, why not join Megan and host your own My Garden Party in 2016? You can easily raise funds for the MS Trust alongside your celebrations and we will provide all the materials you need to make your party a success.
Your garden party can be as big or small as you wish and you can still take part even if you don’t have a garden – you could have a house party or organise something at a local park. The money you raise will make a real difference for people with MS, helping to provide vital information and support. For more information and to order your My Garden Party fundraising pack, visit mstrust.org.uk/mygarden or call our fundraising team on 01462 476707.
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