Posted in Kafevend Blog

There are a huge number of good causes and charities out there, all worthy of our time and support. It's perhaps no surprise then that these organisations need good marketing strategies, just like any business, if they are to succeed in raising both money and awareness. The ice bucket challenge has certainly proved its efficacy this summer, raising significant funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Nevertheless, tipping a bucketful of ice cubes swimming in cold water over one's head isn't an activity that everyone feels able to participate in! If you prefer a gentler approach to fundraising, something that definitely doesn't involve a sponsored run, parachuting from the back of an aeroplane or trekking through a desert, then it's likely you'll be more interested in Cancer Macmillan's annual 'World's Largest Coffee Morning', which is fast approaching on Friday 26th September.

Following the success of one of their local fundraising committee's coffee mornings in 1990, Macmillan decided to harness the straightforward and inclusive nature of this type of event to maximum effect. The first nationwide Macmillan coffee morning was held the very next year.  The event has snowballed since then with some 154,000 people signing up to organise coffee mornings in their homes, schools and work places last year and many more turning up to chat and enjoy coffee and cake. There's no stinting on effort to make this year's event even more of a winner than  2013's when a spectacular £20 million was raised!

Anyone can choose to organise an event. Registration can be done online and a kit sent out to help you get started. You can also use the website to discover the whereabouts of your nearest coffee morning. Failing that, pop along to your local Marks and Spencer café. The company is supporting the event for the fifth year in a row, with 5p per slice of cake and cup of coffee purchased during September going to Macmillan. Additionally, 20p will be donated for each Victoria Sponge purchased from the Food Hall.

Cake and coffee are a very positive way to raise money and awareness, and as such provide a perfect reflection of the positive work Macmillan does each day, providing information, emotional and practical support in a variety of ways. Macmillan nurses are specialists in their field, the very first funded in 1975, the same year that the charity opened its first cancer care unit. Its beginnings stretch back over a century however, to 1911, when a young man, Douglas Macmillan, deeply affected by having to watch his father slowly die of cancer, determined to set up a charity that would offer advice and support to patients and their families. The 'Society for the Prevention and Relief of Cancer' was formed and in due course the charity took its founder's name.

Coinciding with the BBC's latest series of 'The Great British Bake Off', there should be no shortage of ideas for tempting cakes to make, sell, buy and devour. Nevertheless, not everyone follows the show, so if you're taking part in a coffee morning and looking for quick and easy but delicious cakes to tempt people with, check out these recipes for chocolate brownies and chocolate cake. You won't regret it and what better reason for indulging in cake with your coffee!

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