One of She and Hem’s favourite people in the whole world is a lady called Deesha Mondair (above on the right), who decided to do something extra special for her 21st birthday and hold a charity fundraiser for Multiple Sclerosis, a condition which affects around 100,000 people in the UK.
After making the decision to hold the fundraiser, she hired the beautiful Westbury on Trym Village Hall in Bristol and then set about achieving her vision. Over the past few months, with the help of family and friends, she has written to countless businesses in order to put together the greatest raffle in the history of raffles, bought food, made cakes, collected a lot of jams jars and gathered together all the props required! There was a lot of planning involved in putting this all together but her boundless enthusiasm for the party has been completely infectious! She even hand typed every single invitation on her trusty typewriter, Dorothy!
We got off to a little bit of a bumpy start, as after setting everything up, we were told that the hall had in fact been double booked and that we would have to cancel the party! As it was due to start in under an hour (and was for charity!) we managed to convince the hall to let the party go ahead! It was touch and go though and all rather uncomfortable! A few much needed hugs were given to Deesha, Gins were drunk and the frivolity duly commenced.
On arrival, every guest was treated to a jam jar of Pimms, complete with novelty straw. There is just something so delightfully wonderful about drinking out of a jam jar! They were a real hit. I was on door duty with the wonderful Kelly and we dutifully waved our welcoming flags and shook our collection buckets (which appear to have morphed into Gin & Tonics) with gusto. We had so much fun and it was so lovely to meet all of the people who had come to support Deesha.
One of the absolute hits of the night was most definitely the raffle extraordinaire! As I said above, Deesha wrote to lots of local (and a couple of not so local) companies and boy oh boy did they do us proud! People were extremely generous and it just shows what you can achieve if you put your mind to it. I think we were all bowled over by the support and everyone who donated deserves a special thank you! Prizes on offer included a cooking demonstration with Rick Stein, donated by one of my favourite places, Topping Booksellers in Bath; a £60 gift voucher for Bristol Sewing School, £30 of gift vouchers from Thali Cafe and an absolutely beautiful collection of bags (which I’ve totted up to be worth well over £100) from Sew Lomax
There were also treats from San Francisco Fudge Factory, Vintage Notebook, Elsie Belle (who donated two of her wonderful swallow necklaces), The Robin Hood pub, Jewellery by Jaymie (who donated a gorgeous french fries necklace and daisy collar clips!) , Bristol Beer Factory, Severn Cider and Rhubarb and Squirrel cards. As well all those goodies there were also free tickets and vouchers from Bath Bun Tea Shoppe, Paradise Cakes, The Birdcage, The Relaxation Centre, The Watershed, The Bath Comedy Walk and the Bath Fashion Museum.
For this most special of occasions, Victoria and I decided to wear two different balloon print dresses from Modcloth, that we have been salivating over for quite some time! They are both SO MUCH FUN and we had an absolutely fabulous time wearing them for the first time. Both dresses are former Double Thumbs entries (Victoria’s from #1 and Jo’s from #7) and they are certainly worthy of the accolade. I wore my red balloon print dress with my white Topshop geek shoes and kept my accessories to a minimum with little yellow star earrings and a red bow in my hair. Victoria wore her smiley hot air balloon print dress with a gorgeous silver bunting necklace from Miss Selfridge.
Now that Deesha has finished party planning, I think she should go into business as a professional prop maker as all of the wonderful props (minus the sombreros!) were made by her fair hands. We certainty had a great time messing around with them!
As well as rocking some very trendy red lips, Kelly wore a zesty orange dress from Miss Selfridge, purple shoes from Red Herring at Debenhams, a gold turtle belt from ASOS and an Urban Outfitters watch. Ellie went for the must have accessory of the season in the form a of healthy mustache and teamed it with a gorgeous dress from Primark and a lovely blazer from H&M.
The night was a great success and raised over £700! Amazing! And the money is still coming in! Well done, Deesha and a very happy 21st birthday to you! I shall sign off with a wonderful photo of Deesha and her Grandparents, who had flown over from Ireland especially for the party. The birthday girl wore a spectacular dress from Lady V London and paired it with shoes from Pavers!
If you have been inspired to run your own fundraising event, or if you would like to make a donation to Multiple Sclerosis, you can find out more information here.