Non-traditional, informal and fun: Maureen’s tea party story
Maureen has held a Blooming Great Tea Party for the last two years in support of Marie Curie. The parties may take a bit of organising, but Maureen says they’re ‘worth every minute’.
Having decided she wanted to raise money for Marie Curie, Maureen was keen to make her Blooming Great Tea Party a fun event.
“I wanted to do something different so we held our tea party in the garden and I charged people £20 each, which included drinks and a gift each.
“As they came in, we gave them a ticket and then later in the afternoon, they went up to the table and got the prize that had that raffle ticket on which I thought was really good.”
Maureen did a brilliant job of asking anyone and everyone to donate a prize to her raffle – with some exciting results!
“We had a big bouquet of flowers that was donated by a florist. We had a wine decanter with six glasses.
“The main prize was a Jamie Oliver meal. They donated a lunch for two people, which was very good.”
Inspired by care
Maureen was inspired to throw her Blooming Great Tea Party after her sister Pat was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Marie Curie Nurses helped care for Pat at home.
“I don’t really have words to describe the care Pat received. The Marie Curie Nurse was just fantastic. She was so loving and caring.
“It meant a lot to my sister. She kept opening her eyes and smiling at us. It was as if she felt safe.”
Maureen’s top tips
Bake or buy
A mixture of bought, homemade and donated cakes is the secret to success without too much stress.
Carrot cake was one of the biggest hits at Maureen’s party. Now’s the time to break out the old faithful recipes.
Chocolate strawberries are a crowd-pleaser. Or why not whip up some fruit kebabs, made from fruit sandwiched with marshmallows
Mix it up
You don’t need to be a brilliant baker to throw a Blooming Great Tea Party, says Maureen.
“We bought some cakes and then we made some, we cut them up and a couple of the people who came donated really nice ones.
“One guest, who’s a baker, donated a great big cookie. We put it in the raffle and that was lovely. So we cook part of it, prepare part of it but then some of it we just go out and buy!
“I didn’t want it to be a traditional afternoon tea. I wanted it to be everyone moving about, talking to each other, having a laugh and enjoying the atmosphere. I think that’s so important. It’s a serious charity but you’ve got to make it a happy time.”