Southern Brooks Friends Group
We are a passionate team of volunteers working together to support and promote the excellent work being done by Southern Brooks in our communities. Using our skills, enthusiasm and energy we raise awareness and funds to enable this work to continue.
Some of the fundraising activities we do include a monthly quiz night at Brooks Café and stalls at local fetes and festivals.
The funds that we raise go back into the organisation towards specific projects. In the past we have supported the summer playscheme to purchase new toys and this year we’re helping them to buy sensory equipment for children with additional needs. The most rewarding aspect of supporting Southern Brooks, is seeing how the money is used and the difference it makes.
A chat with Friends Group member Leanne
What has been your journey to Southern Brooks Community Partnerships?
I've spent most of my working life in hotels, progressing from receptionist to general manager. When I had my son, I had to give up work to care for him full time as he was born with disabilities. It's very isolating being a single parent and having a child with disabilities. I started going to Brooks cafe to get out and was immediately offered a friendly welcome, and listening ear. I started volunteering for Southern Brooks once my son started school as a way to try and reclaim my identity - not just someone's mum - and have some adult company!
Why did you volunteer for Southern Brooks rather than any other charity?
I respect the work that they do in the community.
What makes Southern Brooks special?
The people who work for the organisation love what they do and it shows.
What connection do you have to Patchway?
I moved here when my son was a year old. 5 years later, I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!
What are you responsible for in your role?
As a Friend, I am responsible for promoting the work of, and fundraising for Southern Brooks, so that it can sustain its vital work. This can entail being at events serving refreshments or talking to people, planning and running fundraising events. I also host the monthly quiz night!
What do you get out of being a friend here?
I have fun, I use my existing skills and experience and learn new ones, I'm part of a fab team and I feel part of an organisation that does great work.
What’s the thing you’re most proud of?
When I suggested running a monthly quiz night, I had no idea if it would be a success. It has grown from 10 to 30 regular attendees over 18 months. People come and have a fun evening out. We've had people come along who might otherwise have been spending that evening home alone. It also makes a consistent contribution to the Friends fundraising efforts. I'd call that a success! My idea yes, but wouldn't happen if it wasn't for a great team of people.