It takes a village

Perhaps now more than ever, we are all keenly aware of just how important it is to shop local and rally community support for those most in need.
As aged-care facilities around the world are under unprecedented duress and small businesses, particularly in hospitality, are under enormous financial strain, a wonderful good news story has emerged in our region that has attracted national television coverage.
Since Midland Express published RM Begg’s call for financial support in June, community spirit has begun to rally.
Daniel Richards and Ed Pursey, co-owners of Little Swallow Café on Kyneton’s Piper Street, were inspired to run a community coffee fundraiser.
“We normally help out with their annual fundraiser and when I saw a post on Facebook explaining the extra costs for PPE gear and how they’re unable to fundraise due to the pandemic, I sat down to see what we could do,” Mr Richards said.
“We came up with the idea to open for two days; it was a good way to bring our staff together and re-bond too.”Little Swallow Café aimed to raise $4000 across two days’ trading, with 100 per cent of their takings to be donated to RM Begg.
“That amount was blown out of the water,” Mr Richards said.
“The local community was very generous; Kyneton and surrounds all came to support our effort including from areas like Gisborne, Bendigo and Castlemaine.
“Even people from Melbourne who couldn’t visit in person due to lockdown, phoned-in to purchase raffle tickets.
“We sold 2500 raffle tickets and made $7500 from the raffle alone!” he said.
Winners of the raffle shared in prizes that included a meal for four at Little Swallow Café, four bottles of wine donated by Granite Hills and a $50 voucher donated by Miss Maisie, also on Piper Street.The two-day fundraiser made a grand total of $16,018.25.
“We are so very, very grateful for Daniel and Ed’s extraordinary generosity, especially given that they are doing it tough too,” RM Begg’s CEO Meredith Grant said upon receiving the news.
Mr Richards explained that while Little Swallow Café’s staff were receiving JobKeeper and “okay for now”, they couldn’t wait to open their doors again, particularly as lockdown in Melbourne had seen their trade drop by 40 per cent.
With large, company owned aged-care facilities popping up across the state and their auxiliary unable to fundraise due to COVID-19 lockdowns, RM Begg, a community-owned not-for-profit, relies on such kindnesses.
“We want to ensure that RM Begg not only survives but thrives so that we can give back to our community by providing exceptional care, high-quality facilities and a safe, healthy, happy ‘home’ environment for our treasured elders now and into the future,” Ms Grant said.
If you’d like to be part of RM Begg’s community-wide fundraising drive, they are currently seeking volunteers, donations and collaborative fundraising ideas. Contact project coordinator Sarah Collier via email: sarah.collier@raymbegg.org.au or phone: (03) 5421 3600. Donations can also be made via the website: www.raymbegg.org.au/donate

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