The scene was set with 25 committed volunteers converging on Twickenham to raise much needed funds for 3Pillars Project. England were taking on Wales and they certainly won it the hard way as George Ford's 71st-minute penalty denied Wales a first Six Nations away win in the capital since 2012.
Hard-fought victories were the theme of the day. With permission from the RFU to fundraise at Twickenham it was so important that we capitalised on the fundraising opportunity. A day organised and led by our very own Mike Crofts started just after lunch. Striking blue jumpers’ wristbands and buckets at the ready we were positioned around the stadium to tackle as many of the English and Welsh rugby fans as we possibly could.
First on the agenda was getting into position and spreading the word about the fantastic work that 3 Pillars do to as many people as possible. The strategy was to be charming and knowledgeable and encourage them to be generous and donate. Twickenham nowadays is a maze of delicious food stalls and drinking spots to cater for young and old, a real festival vibe. Spirits were certainly high and so many of the people we spoke to were impressed with the work that 3 Pillars Project does. The power of technology meant that “sorry no change” was “no problem” as the fundraisers would immediately present the mobile payment app and I must say people were very generous.
It was a real treat to bump into a few celebrities who would take time to listen and pose for the occasional picture. England's Courtney Lawes happily posing for pictures as well as Andy Goode. We were even able to convince 'Big John Fisher' of TikTok fame to make a short video promoting our cause, signing off with his famous Bosh strapline. John boasts 200,000 followers on TikTok and although we couldn't possibly talk to that many people, we certainly tried our best to raise as much money as possible.
Trustee Helen very quickly discovered that the Bollinger tent was packed with very jolly and super generous clientele. We are sure that the real reason for success there, was Helen’s elevator pitch. After almost 4 hours of fundraising, it would be fair to say that we exceeded everyone's expectations. The Twickenham crowd came together and generously poured in from every corner of the rugby community. A rough count at the end of the session meant that we had raised over £5000. I am always amazed at the generosity of people and when a community join for a common goal no challenge is too great.
The success of this fundraising event and many to come will have a long-lasting effect on the work that 3 Pillars Project does. All of us were certainly tired, many of us with sore feet, but we all were incredibly pleased with our efforts. I'm so proud to support such a wonderful charity.
If you would like to support 3Pillars Project, you can by donating below
Author: Marcus Heslop