London Loveiosa is one year old!
To celebrate I made a cake! (The first cake I have ever made by myself I must add, and if you couldn't tell that is supposed to be a giant book made of icing!)
I remember the first meeting like it was yesterday, Jessica and I sat nervously at King's Cross, worrying that no-one else was going to show up. It turns out we didn't need to worry about a thing.
So, as it is our first birthday I thought it would be fun to look back over some of my favourite memories of the year.
- Our first flyering/ donation collecting experience was terrifying at first and disheartening at times but it was a real bonding day. I think it was the first time we realised that raising money was going to be a lot of hard work.
- The book drive at King's Cross was incredible, we raised over £500 and received over 1000 books. I will never forget the pure joy on the faces of the two little boys who won prizes in our raffle. It was such a magical day, and for our first event it could not have gone any better. This was also the first day we wore our London Loveiosa shirts, and I have to say we were definitely the best dressed stall!
- Knitting hats for St Mungo's is another highlight for me, because not only were we helping the homeless but many of us also learned a new skill. It may have taken a few practice hats and a couple of knitting parties, but I was so proud I was able to complete 5 hats. I hope we can increase our total of 21 hats next year.
- It feels good collecting a large amount of books, but it feels even better when you can give them away to people who need them. We delivered 300 books to four St Mungo's projects scattered across London. The staff at each stop were incredibly grateful and we spent time talking to them and some of the residents about what we could do to greater improve the quality of life for people who rely on the centres. We also delivered almost 200 books to Whistler's Walk, a children's home which is going to use the books to set up a library. The residential support workers were incredibly supportive of our cause and very excited to present the books to the young people who live with them.
- World Book Night at Paddington Station was incredibly hectic and tiring but so much fun, we managed to give away over 700 books and spread the word about London Loveiosa and the HPA. The kindness of strangers that night was incredible, we were given so much free food! It was amazing to be able to share our love of reading and books with people who don't read for pleasure or don't own books.
- I'll never forget the dedication and commitment that went into winning the Chapter's Cup. We crammed as many members as we could on to Jessica's bed to appear on the HPA's livestream and we sang The Mysterious Ticking Noise with the Potter Puppet Pals! Neil was drowning in puppets and there was a time delay but it was fantastic! Oh and also Andrew Slack called us the "greatest people on the face of the planet." That's pretty cool.
There are so so so many other things we did this year including attending a Very Geeky Christmas in Macclesfield, the Halloween sponsored walk, being interviewed for Radio 4, raising money for the British Heart Foundation on Valentine's Day, receiving $500 from the HPA's Granger Grant and selling Hunger Games inspired muffins at the Catching Fire premiere.
None of this could have been accomplished without the unwavering dedication of our members and the tremendous support we have received from the HPA.
I feel so extraordinarily grateful to be a part of London Loveiosa and I know we are going to achieve incredible things in the years to come.