It’s been nearly two weeks since the PoetsIN Schools Stress Ball and we’re still trying to get our heads around everything after being blown away by the success of it all. What a night! What a ball! People arrived in their tuxedoes and evening gowns, ate, laughed, danced and drank – and above all – played, raffled and bid on auction items.
The ball was to raise funds for PoetsIN Schools, the part of our charity that will be helping kids of all ages recognise the difference between emotions and mental health; and to arm them with tools to help them manage any mental health illnesses they may struggle with. Over £7,500 was raised on the night (and is still trickling in). It will ensure we can offer subsidised workshops to schools needing what we do but have tight budgets.
It was not without its trials and tribulations. Only a couple of weeks before the ball, the organiser of it all, Sam Wilkinson, had her garage broken into and £2,800’s worth of items stolen that were to be raffled, auctioned and gived away in goody bags. Even the bags themselves were taken.
We took to social media, local radio and newspapers only to be truly humbled by people’s generosity and the spirit and support of people.
And we must therefore give thanks to the many individuals and organisations that were so generous in helping us get back to where we were before the robbery. But first, a very important big thanks is to Sam Wilkinson herself, without whom, with 8 months of hard work, the ball would never had happened in the first place!
Sam paid attention to detail, themed it beautifully, dealt with spreadsheets and tech problems, and brought together a room full of incredible human beings. Sam’s motivation behind this was her daughter, Keira, who has severe anxiety. We were joined by both Keira and Roxy, Sam’s daughters, who were rockstars on the evening, and a complete credit to Sam.
Team PIN all knew how incredibly nervous Sam was about presenting her speech, but she aced it with grace, emotion, and a dash of humour. From the bottom of our hearts, we are touched, blessed, and so pleased to know you, Sam. Thank you, thank you, thank you. ❤️
Then came co-founder Paul’s speech, explaining how we came to be, what we were up to, and what plans we had. Much of this is covered in our birthday post the other day and we’ll be posting more as and when we can.
The last, and by no means least of the speeches came from our very own Simon Braddock, who is not only a huge part of the Facebook Group team, now a PoetsIN ambassador but also a former attendee of our 6 week workshops which were organised through Shaw Trust. He drew gasps of admiration when he delivered his Bob’s Story speech. Simon, we adore you and look forward to you being part of our ongoing story.
And then come the thank-you’s. There are so many people that helped us, that we will have to thank everybody that helped in a separate post, but for now, let’s give a huge virtual round of applause to the following.
Big love to Chesfield Downs Golf Club for the venue. It was a delight to be able to have the space and the views outside were beautiful. And the stunning photos by the photographer Good Boy Wolf, who generously gave us free photography ALL night accompanied by his new assistants Kiera and Roxy.
Concept Events helped Sam make the place look how it did, the dance floor, the glitz and glamour, the DJ and the whole kit and kaboodle. You’ve made us look forward to the next Stress Ball already – thank you!
Our brochures were gorgeous and made us so proud – and they are all thanks to the printers MeeA Print. Thank you.
Pete Harris at Pictures of Lily – huge thanks for the amazing and kind auction prizes he donated, for replacing the stolen bags, for the dancing and just, well, everything. Without Pete’s generosity our total funds raised would have been significantly less, and we love you Pete!
Lovelayla designs put some funny and very lovely labels on the wine bottles on each table for our thirsty guests. Thank you!
A big thank you to Steve at DGS Chartered Financial Planners for his kind generosity and support and a huge thanks to Escentric Molecules who kindly donated a huge amount or irreplaceable items for our goody bags, which were unfortunately stolen by miscreants who we hope lose sleep.
And of course, massive thanks to those that attended, without whom it would have been empty, quiet and not nearly as successful. We loved meeting those that we met and look forward to meeting those that we didn’t get round to. You all dug deep and we thank you for that. If you spoke to us about getting involved, do please get in touch with us; and if you spoke to us about workshops for your organisation – we would love to speak more as soon as we can.
If you are a school reading this, and you would like to engage PoetsIN Schools in our quest to help kids of all ages with their mental health – please contact Sammie or Paul on firstname.lastname@example.org