Back on Fairy Friday our friend Adrian was selling cakes and collecting donated sets in another part of the hospital. He did an amazing job and we wanted to complete their £800 allocation as quickly as possible. So after some shrewd buying it was off to Nottingham Childrens Hospital which is part of a huge hospital campus. After tricky car park negotiations we were met by Caroline, a member of the play team who made the entire process a dream. Another team member Julie also made us feel very welcome. Assisting was Michael, our youngest volunteer at 5 who was able to help due to the teachers strike. Also pictured are Angela with her daughter Alannah who was a patient and Caroline who is holding another superstar Ethan.
Caroline presented us with a card which you can read now to. It really was a wonderful gesture after being made by one of the patients. She also emailed us shortly after wards to say the following.
“Dear Fairy Bricks,
Thank you so much for your LEGO delivery yesterday, we really do appreciate the kindness of all your supporters”
Back in February we were present at the Yorkshire Brick Show to raise funds and awareness. As usual we always attempt to link local funds with a local hospital and after everyone’s generosity this was possible again. Well on the 7th of March we visited Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield armed with £800 worth of LEGO sets. Assisting us on the day was Willie from The National Coal Mining Museum who had so so generously allowed our presence at the Yorkshire Brick Show. We were met by Zoe, one of the play specialists who was thrilled with impact the sets would have on the children.
Unfortunately because of some technical problems we were unable to take any pictures but can share a story that makes everything feel worthwhile. We met a two year old boy who had both legs in traction and he was understandably not to happy. When presented with a Duplo set though he immediately forgot about his predicament and that was achieved by just holding the box! Thanks to everyone who helped to make this happen.
We decided just after Christmas that we wanted February 28th to be the very first Fairy Friday. The date has passed and it is a pleasure to announce that it was a roaring success with cakes and LEGO enjoyed by staff, friends and family in five separate places in both the UK and beyond. In no particular order, this is what happened at all five places. A huge thanks to everyone who took part with either baking or buying cakes, buying raffle tickets or generally supporting the day.
First of all we had the office of Parcel2Go.com in Bolton. We first made a connection with them in May 2013 when we didn’t have a name, branding or website. They supported our idea then though and have continued to do so since and took on running a Fairy Friday with great enthusiasm. A conference room was given up and between them both Sally and Melanie worked tirelessly to make sure it was a success. Our friend Robert, a very well-known face within LEGO circles was invited along to display some models and take part in the fun. It was a reported that all staff had a fun day and between them over £200 was raised. I understand the football competition was of particular interest. Please enquire if you would like to hire Robert and his stadium. He will work for cake or LEGO. On the back of their continued support we will be making a donation to a Bolton hospital within the next few weeks.
The next stop was RWS Translations in Buckinghamshire. Lucy, one of their employees was involved with Fairy Friday from the idea stage and drafted the information for us in the original article. They have a strong tradition of baking within the company and when Lucy was given permission to host the event the response from bakers was instant. In the end there was Lucy, Becka, Manu, Kathryn, Vanessa, Suzy, Steph H, Jess, Joanne, Mark, Steph L, Ruth, Linzi, Stefi and Alistair all baking. We don’t have the names of all the buyers but we did receive a message on the Friday morning saying it was a cake buying frenzy! Over £200 was raised on the day and in addition the staff are also donating £300 that was raised as part of their Great British Bake Off competition earlier in the year. We asked if they would like to nominate a hospital and they requested if it could be St Oswalds Hospice in Newcastle after one of their colleagues was a patient there. We were only to happy to say yes as the hospice also cares for children. The donation will be happening very soon and will include a specially commissioned one of a kind LEGO model as requested by hospice staff.
From Buckinghamshire and to our first of two events in the East Midlands. Nottingham to be precise and Adrian who works for the Nottingham University NHS trust hosted the day within his department. Not only was over £150 raised but sets worth over £130 were also donated to the Fairy Bricks cause. Now it would be silly for those sets to leave the hospital in which they were donated so they have stayed right there in Nottingham and we will be visiting on Wednesday to deliver approximately £700 worth of sets to give the play team their full allocation.
Onto our second event in the East Midlands and the short hop over into Leicestershire. An event with a difference though. Not in a workplace but someone’s home. Joanna discovered us on Twitter in January and was eager to get involved as soon as she could. With it being half term she was home with her children on the 28th but that wasn’t going to stop her. Friends and family were invited and between them they raised over £100. For someone to open their home for a new charity they have no previous connection to completely blew us away. Joanna was having too much fun with everyone so struggled to pick up the camera but did manage one picture. Next time we will get you a photographer!
And so to our final destination. Reaching beyond the UK to France and our friend Jenni. Where would we be without Jenni. She to hosted a home event but you would think being an Australian living in Toulouse it would be difficult to know enough people to attend. Not difficult for Jenni. Keeping the international flavour alive there were guests from the USA, England, France, India, Poland, Africa, Malaysia and Brazil. Models were built by Steve, Silas. Eva, Helen, Sean, Edward, Advaith, Ojas, Renuka, Prithvi, Samantha, Nicholas, Thomas and Magdalena. Between them over £240 was raised. Like everyone else’s total we were simply staggered by the amount of money generated.
So that sums up Fairy Friday. Apologies that it isn’t a short read but everyone’s involvement needed to be acknowledged. If any names have been missed please let us know and we will update the article. It’s almost beyond belief that the very first attempt at this has raised over £1000 which is way above any expectations. People actually choosing to get involved is just as important to us. Our goals are easy to understand, especially for children. It has been rumoured that one girl voluntarily cleaned up following an event! Hopefully this becomes a yearly tradition for us but if after reading you want to do one before then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
So far around seventy entries have been received. Entries need to in by the 28th of March so you still have time to create something magical and win a fantastic LEGO prize. Full terms and conditions can be found here. It’s wonderful to hear that so many children have been creative and entered their models, a couple of entries can be seen below. Best of luck and get building! Thanks again to Confused.com for including us in this competition. While it means we can’t take part that is a small price to pay compared to their generous support. Brian and his friends are looking good!
In 2013 we managed to make a donation in England, Scotland and Wales but time defeated us when it came to Northern Ireland. We wanted to prioritise a donation there early in 2014 but had a problem. Who would deliver the sets? We reached out to Huw, the owner of one of our key supporters Brickset to see if he had a contact. His reply said he did but couldn’t remember if Ronald was in the North or The Republic. We contacted Ronald and it turned out he was based in Dublin. However this wasn’t an obstacle and he very generously agreed to drive them north. After the sets were delivered by another of our friends Parcel2Go.com Ronald headed north to the Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry. As you can see from the pictures the staff were thrilled as was Ciaran and his Dad Mark. Shortly afterwards we received the following letter
Dear Fairy Bricks,
I am sending you a belated thank you for the fabulous donation of the Lego bricks to the Children’s Ward in Daisy Hill Hospital. This gift is beyond all expectations. The children will be able to get hours of entertainment, and stretch their imaginations, building and constructing and playing with these sets. The Play Therapists are totally delighted at this addition to their resources, and the scope it offers to the children. On behalf of the Play Therapists, Children and Nursing staff, I send a huge thank you.
Anne Stanfield, Ward Sister, Children’s Ward
We really appreciate hearing from hospital staff and about the impact the sets are likely to have. This may have been our first trip to Northern Ireland but it won’t be our last. Huge thanks to all those who donated sets and to Ronald who gave not only his time but also risked life and limb on a particularly windy drive home!
LEGO fans from all over the UK and beyond arrived for the first ever Yorkshire Brick Show in their thousands on the 22nd and 23rd of February. Over 6000 people passed through the exhibition being held at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield. The event was organised by members from Brickshire and members from both The Brickish Association and Northern Brickworks were also in attendance displaying their wonderful LEGO models. We were invited to both fund raise and increase awareness of our work in supporting hospitals with LEGO donations.
A huge thanks needs to be paid to everyone involved. First to the museum and organisers for welcoming us with open arms and supporting our plans. To all the people exhibiting over the weekend. Without the spectacular displays then there wouldn’t have been any attendance. To everyone who helped out on the Fairy Bricks display building the Tower Bridge and selling raffle tickets, Jim, Sally, Kev, Jenny, Jason, Jodi, Andy and KT. Everyone volunteering really helped out and because of everyone’s hard work £1100 was raised to enable us to make more hospital donations. Some of the proceeds will be spent in Wakefield at Pinderfields as we always attempt to link local fundraising to a local hospital. The final thank you needs to go to the public. To give so generously to a charity the majority of people there had never heard of speaks volumes for the community spirit on show. Here is hoping that the event returns next year!
Did you happen to see the LEGO adverts that aired on Sunday night during Dancing On Ice? One of them featured the lovable BRIAN the Robot of Confused.com helping out LEGO minfigs with their car insurance. Check it out below if you missed it.
To celebrate their love of all things LEGO, and BRIAN’s especially the team at Confused.com have come up with a wonderful building competition where both Apprentice and Master builders can win some fantastic prizes. If you’re an Apprentice simply build a robot from LEGO for the chance to win a LEGO Movie Rescue Reinforcement set and yearly family pass to LEGOLAND Windsor. Five runners up will also receive a £30 voucher for the LEGO Shop.
Now if you consider yourself a Master builder then its time to build a LEGO BRIAN. He can be as simple or as complicated as you like and the lucky winner will receive a LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3 and an exclusive car as featured in the add.
We are delighted to be partnering with Confused.com as part of this competition and they are making a generous donation of LEGO sets to be used in our next hospital donation. Full details including the terms and conditions can be found here so get building and the very best of luck!
One of things we have managed to capture so far with Fairy Bricks is a real sense of community spirit. This isn’t just community within a few miles but spanning thousands of them with LEGO fans as far away as Australia happy to donate sets for children in Sheffield.
The latest example is Babycakes in Greenock, Scotland. The owner Robert is a self-confessed LEGO fan who has made personal contributions himself and in May last year won a raffle prize. Between baking and icing magical cakes he has produced a Fairy Bricks collection box for his shop. So if you’re in need of an amazing cake in Greenock get in touch with Robert and when you collect it feel free to take some LEGO home with you to!
For a while now we have wondering what to do with used LEGO that we have ourselves and things that people would like to donate. The hospitals that we support are unable to accept them because of infection control issues. When we say used we mean good used. Not necessarily complete sets but no broken, chewed, licked by the dog or spent time up little Johnnys nose parts. Parts we would be happy to own ourselves. We thought about selling them to buy new things but after cleaning, checking and sorting etc it was decided it wasn’t an efficient way to spend our limited time. Still it would be criminal to let those parts go to waste.
After a chance encounter on Twitter there was a light bulb moment. Why not collect and donate the bricks where they could make a real difference the way our hospital sets do? So that’s what we are going to do. A charity that supports children with Down Syndrome have agreed to test this with us. It won’t be an exclusively used donation but certainly partial. The group will use the bricks and sets together to help develop finger strength and grip and involve siblings to make learning a shared family experience. The development of fine motor skills will eventually be very important when learning to hold a pen to be able to write. That is something we would be proud to have made a contribution towards.
On Friday 28th February, Fairy Bricks is inviting you to take part in Fairy Friday by organising a fundraising cake sale (with an added twist! More on that further down)
How do I organise a Fairy Friday cake sale?
Here are some tips:
Put posters up at your school, workplace, community centre, play group, etc. Maybe stay-at-home parents can get together for a extra-special coffee morning,
Tell your friends and co-workers the date and ask them to contribute by baking something for Fairy Friday. Remind them nearer the day too.
‘Cake’ can be interpreted very loosely! Cakes, biscuits, muffins, traybakes, savoury – all contribution will be greatly appreciated (and scoffed)!
You don’t have to make anything on the theme of Fairy Bricks, but if you do that would be extra-cool.
Make sure you have a large enough area to display all the cake and for people to come and survey the goods!
Rather than pricing everything individually and having to mess about with change, leave an honesty box for people to make their donations – maybe mark that the suggested donation is £1 per item, for example.
It’s helpful to provide some paper plates and napkins – and when people take a plate, they generally want to fill it! Meaning more money raised.
The added twist!
The extra dimension to this cake sale is that we’d also encourage you to hold a little LEGO building competition (can’t ignore the ‘bricks’ part of Fairy Bricks!).
Please ask people to bring in any of their own LEGO creations (or those of their children) on the day. You can upload pictures to the Fairy Bricks website and the best (as judged by the Fairy Bricks Team) will win a small prize (LEGO of course!).
The model doesn’t have to be huge or amazingly intricate; it can be anything you like, there is no theme, and no limits except your imagination!
This is completely optional; you don’t have to do the building competition as well.
If you have any questions about Fairy Friday, please get in touch with us via our Facebook page. Please let us know if you’re planning on taking part and don’t think you wont be able to raise enough money. Every penny will make a difference.
Hopefully, on Fairy Friday we can have some fun and, more importantly, together raise lots of money to put a smile on the faces of sick children.
Delighted to announce that the staff at Parcel2Go will be taking part and by the sound of things they are very excited!