Helen Davis, member of the Poole grassroots group, reports on the success of their Autumn grassroots outreach and fundraising dinner. 

The twin purposes of this event are to raise money to support RESULTS but also to give friends and family some idea of what we do and how we do it.

We held our supper this year in the brand new church hall of St Mary’s in Longfleet Road, near Poole hospital. The three storey building is finished to a very high standard and boasts a well equipped kitchen … which gave us a moment’s panic when it was noticed that if you leave the kitchen for more than a minute not only do the lights go out (an admirable energy saving feature) but the cooker turns itself off as well – leaving the potatoes not baking! Similarly, if you exit the lobby to go outside, the door will lock as the lights go off, leaving you stranded outside until someone misses you!

RESULTS Grassroots Trustee and member of the Poole group, Reg Davis, opens the event.

These details aside, all went well: our guests Annette Brooke MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole and her husband Councillor Mike Brooke, Annette’s successor Councillor Vikki Slade who is standing for Annette’s seat, and RESULTS staff Dan Jones and Felix Jakens all arrived in plenty of time to greet each other and prepare as the 60 guests arrived.

Janet and Karen from the Poole group had prepared a light supper and were helped by other group members who served the meal and cleared away. Dan gave a talk about our work on education and the Global Partnership for Education replenishment this year, speaking powerfully and passionately about the work that the RESULTS staff and grassroots campaigners undertook to help get £300 million out of the UK Governmen this year – £300 million that will help 29 million more children access an education around the world. Felix spoke about RESULTS and how it works, and Annette spoke about how members of the Poole RESULTS group had come to see her at a surgery meeting at the very beginning of her Parliamentary career –in 2001- and how she had been so convinced by their passion, dedication and knowledge, that she had taken up some of the issues that RESULTS cares about. She had nothing but high praise for the staff and campaigners at RESULTS and we were delighted to have her as our special guest.

During coffee and cakes our guests were asked to consider filling in the forms on each table with their details – for instance if they wished to be invited to another such event, or to a meeting, or just so that they would receive a thank-you for their gift.

We were very pleased that everybody who had a ticket actually came – on a wet night in November that is impressive! It goes without saying that group members worked extremely hard without any fuss so that the event ran smoothly … but I suspect that I was not the only one exhausted the next day!