Well, What A Year!
We have had a fantastic 2017. In April this year we changed the whole committee around and went from 11 right down to 3. Heather, Debbie and myself. It was quite a change but we wanted everyone to feel welcome and encouraged everyone to stay involved with events throughout the year. We said it at the time, just because you are not on the committee, it doesn’t mean you are not a part of our team and it certainly doesn’t mean you can not arrange an event or be involved with helping out on them, and we really did have a lot of helpers outside of the committee, thank you to anyone that did!
We have had more fundraisers than ever this year in Bristol Branch. This started in May at The Bristol 10k where we had a team of 5 runners from first timers to well seasoned runners. There was a great feeling on the day at Bristol, this was brand new to me and Bristol Branch. Sarah, Matt, Emma, Gavin and myself ran the race and I believe there were a few personal bests earned on the day!
In July we had 4 guys riding The Great Weston Ride. We started off in Bristol and made the 60 mile trip by bicycle all the way to Weston. I don’t think any of us knew what we had signed up for or how hard it would be. We spent the first 25 miles dreading “The Hill!” but once we were all up there, the rest of the ride was very enjoyable! If you have a bike, it’s a must for next year and we would love to have you in our team!
The final fundraising sporting event was the Bristol Half Marathon and we had even more runners involved in this one! We had Matt, Emma and Gavin again, but this time they were joined by Kim, Sara, Michael & Ian. These guys were super speedy and came 3rd in the business challenge! 3rd!! Personally I am so proud of these guys, not just for coming 3rd but with both running events and the bike ride, the guys raised nearly £5000! A fantastic all round effort!
Fundraising isn’t just about running and cycling. We have had 2 extremely generous people this year donate their birthday presents for the branch. Linda & Robin both decided they would like to receive donations to Bristol Branch instead of having gifts. Such a caring, generous thing to do and we are very grateful.
Linda & Lesley’s fantastic quiz has grown dramatically this year. So much so that we have actually had 2 successful quizzes this year. If you missed them, come along next year. It is a fantastic night and a very challenging quiz for even the brainiest quizzers!
Our events are always well supported by the branch and this year was no different! When you look back on the year of social events and put them with the fundraising events, we really have had a busy year! We kicked off with family bowling and we were delighted to have so many new faces come along.
In July we sent a minibus to Weston to cheer in Lee & co on their bikes. We got together with the Weston HDA group for fish and chips before cheering them in! It was a great family day and once again, so many new faces. The Weston group is growing quickly and if you are in Weston or Somerset, check out the Weston page on our site to keep up to date with what they are doing.
We sent 3 carers on a well deserved and needed break in August to a hotel overnight and they all enjoyed dinner and a nice break! We want to do the same again next year so please, if you are a carer that looks after a family member, come and have a break with us in 2018! On the same night, the rest of us were in Keynsham having a family BBQ. Although a little unorganised, we had a fantastic night, with again, so many different faces!
So with the nights getting longer and the temperature dropping, we must have been moving on to Christmas! We have had such a busy Christmas this year. 5 weekends in a row of various events kicking off with Heather’s Christmas card sale in Cabot Court raising £100! On the following week Debbie and I (with a lot of helpers!) held a Christmas table top sale in Oldland Common raising another £500.
So all that was left was the Christmas Quiz and 2 Christmas lunches. The second quiz of the year was even more successful than the first earlier in the year! We had more quizzers than ever and we are looking forward to our next on May 4th 2018. There are rumours of a special Star Wars round so bring your lightsaber along for a quiz that’s out of this world! Ha!
Bristol Branch held it’s annual Christmas lunch on December 3rd with our annual Christmas prize draw. This year we had a lot of prizes donated by the wonderful Bristol Shop. Along with the usual bounty of prizes, it was a draw not to be missed! Sprouts aside, we had a fantastic day at Saltford Golf Club and we even had a big jolly visitor arrive on a golf buggy with presents for everyone! This is something the team work very hard on throughout the year and you wouldn’t believe that Debbie personally buys all of the gifts and wraps them herself! That’s 75 additional gifts she wraps every festive season! Great work.
We finished up our events today with the Weston Group Christmas lunch that went very well indeed! This group didn’t exist in June so to get nearly 20 of them together for a Christmas lunch that was arranged a month ago is fantastic. Next year I hope we can have one large event all together perhaps towards the Cribbs Causeway side of town.
2018 will bring us even more events and I for one am looking forward to our biggest year yet. We have a Family Day in June that is not to be missed, a day all together with information, fun, oh, and most importantly, cake and lunch! The details will follow shortly on this but book in quick as the spaces go fast!
Fundraising will go on the way we have started this year. We still have 2 spaces left for Bath Half Marathon in March so please get in touch if you’d like to run with us! I am happy to get people into The Great Bristol Runs again, although nothing is set in stone yet. In July we will be taking part in The Great Weston Ride once again, and finally, we have an exciting team challenge taking place in the Summer of 2018! The 3 Peaks Challenge! Lesley and I are working on the finer details of this one at the moment but places will be limited and the event will be fantastic! There will be no individual fundraising target but we will have a team fundraising page. This will be a big event and I for one am very excited about it!
So thank you all for the fun, fundraising and support in 2017. Together we will make 2018 even better!
Merry Christmas From Mark, Debbie & Heather.