‘It was really just inviting ten of us round for coffee.’ Confessions of a Coffee Morning host

Veteran coffee morning host Joanne McCourt, from Broughty Ferry, has raised more than £8,690 for Macmillan in 10 previous coffee mornings. She will hold her 11th coffee morning this year.

“This will be my 11th year having a coffee morning. I first started back in 2005 as my sister Clare had held a small one the previous year and suggested I hold one in her place as she couldn’t do it that year.

“It was really just inviting about ten of us round for coffee. At that stage I did not personally know anyone who had cancer but unfortunately as time has gone on this has changed. I think really my initial motivation was just to be able to do something for others that I could do having young children. Now I feel like I could not, not do it!

“I have always held coffee mornings in my home. When I first started hosting them, my four children were aged between two and six years old, so I knew a lot of other mums from toddler groups, nursery and school who all came along. I even made coffee and scones to hand in to the school and nursery for a donation.

“My coffee morning has grown over the years and now there are around 40-50 people who attend. I always hold a cake and candy stall which people have been very good baking for and I have a raffle also to raise more money which has been very successful.

“My friends sell tickets to friends, relatives and workmates and I sell them at my church. My mum always comes along and makes freshly baked scones for everyone. We usually get through 150! 

“Hosting coffee mornings has really been a group effort even though they are held in my home. People who don’t know me turn up to have their planned coffee at my coffee morning instead of going into town.

“It can be hard work but it has become easier over time. I now know what I’m doing and I have some great helpers. We usually start at 9.30am and end at 1.30pm so that everything is tidied up by the time school is finished.

“My top tips would be to get as many people as possible to help you in little ways. As I mentioned I have had people sell raffle tickets, make cake and candy, invite friends, help set up and clear away, my mum making scones and friends and relatives serving on the day.

With so many people having a little job to do it makes it easier for them to say yes!

“Secondly, remember to say thank you to absolutely everyone who has done something. I always write to any businesses that have donated a raffle prize to say thank you and tell them how we did and I put a letter in our church bulletin and a little bit in the newspaper if possible. I also post it on Facebook. I think if people know you are grateful for their support they are more likely to keep giving.”

To register for your free coffee morning kit visit: coffee.macmillan.org.uk/

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