If you’re coming to #whampgather this Thursday, you’re in for a treat. It promises to be the biggest and best yet. [if you have a ticket and realise you can’t make it, do please let me know].
Regular whampgatherers know that the evening falls into two sections. Before the Raffle, when we exert considerable pressure on you to buy raffle tickets because, y’know, whampgather is still free and you get discounts at the bar, and because it’s for a really good cause… and After the Raffle, when the music gets a bit louder and the crowd is a mixture of people sobbing that they didn’t win a prize and other people rejoicing in their victories.
There is of course also a transitional phase – The Raffle Itself – when you get a chance to hear my booming voice coming at you through loudspeakers, as if I didn’t have enough of a God complex already.
What can I win? What can I win?
As always, the raffle ticket sellers will have the final list of prizes, but if you’re super eager, here’s the list as it stands (in alphabetical order)
Bake-a-boo – afternoon tea for two
Feng Sushi – sushi-making masterclass for four people (and the chance to eat some!)
Guglee – £50 meal voucher
La Brocca – dinner for two during the Game Weekend (7th/8th December)
Oddbins – three bottles of wine
Rococo Chocolates – truffle making workshop for four people
Tricycle Cinema – 11 (yes, eleven) seats in the box, for any regular cinema screening
Waitrose – a mixed case of wine
West End Lane Books – three of the latest signed hardbacks AND a £30 voucher
The Wet Fish Café – £60 meal voucher
Yi-Dao Clinic – 1hr massage (Tuina, deep tissue, aromatherapy or holistic)
Where does the money go?
We are raising money for local youth charity, The Winch. We have supported The Winch for the past few years in a variety of ways, and our fundraising efforts so far have pulled in something over £2,500.
At the last whampgather we were able to raise enough to ensure the drama programme continued for another term. I went to see the results of this, and it was so obvious how much this has benefitted the young people involved.
This time, we’re focusing on a different strand of The Winch’s work – its Youth Forum.
The Forum supports 20 young people, eight in the 13-16 age group, and twelve 11-13 year-olds. It is aimed at anyone who wants to develop leadership skills and have more of a decision-making role. It focuses on developing character strengths, and the sessions are built around a healthy meal that the young people cook and eat together.
To date, the focus of the decisions has been on shaping what the kids would like to do at The Winch, and the results have been eclectic – from restarting the music workshop, to enterprise stall ideas for the local Swiss Cottage Fair, to planning a weekend away together. The team leaders also work with sub-groups to develop new areas of activity for the charity, e.g., more sports sessions, music workshops, holiday activities etc.
The Winch works with kids from all over Camden, though it naturally attaracts more young people from the immediate area and the Swiss Cottage estates in particular. On the surface it looks like any other youth club, but its involvement in the lives of young people goes far deeper, especially with its “cradle to career” philosophy, which ensures continuity of support for those young people who face particularly complex and difficult lives. Having been fortunate enough to be involved with the organisation over the past few years, I can honestly say that supporting it has a tangible positive impact on kids who may not have had the priveliges and benefits that many of us have had.
When the raffle ticket sellers come round on Thursday, please buy one or two tickets more than you might otherwise, and we should be able to raise a record amount this time. Joanna from The Winch will also be around during the evening, so if you want to learn more about the organisation, do seek her out. You can also of course read more on the website.