Jams sold out at Christmas Fair

Jams, chutneys and Christmas cakes made by Brighton YMCA residents were sold for fund raising at the Friends’ Centre and St Bartholomew’s Christmas and Craft Fair this Saturday, 30th of November 2013. The money will be put towards refurbishing William Collier House’s kitchen, a Brighton YMCA project where the residents prepared all the preserves and cakes.

Since October 2013 residents from William Collier House of Brighton YMCA have been making Christmas themed preserves and cakes for fundraising. All the fruit and vegetables came from Brighton YMCA’s allotment and from private donors, whilst the sugar and cake ingredients were donated by the Western Road Co-operative. All the recycled jars were also donated. Christmas cards on sale were made by the George Williams Centre residents’ art group.

The two YMCA clients who volunteered on the day, Daniel and Sonya helped make the stall lively and interactive. They spent a lot of time at the front of the church, encouraging passers-by to visit the stall.

Sonya said: ‘I like taking part in this type of event. It is one step further towards getting back to employment. It was also very nice to be involved and to meet people from other organisations.’

Among the jams and chutneys on offer on the day were: spiced blackberry and apple jam, blackcurrant jam, richly spiced plum chutney, spicy blackberry chutney, spiced cranberry and apple chutney. One customer comment about the chocolate Christmas cake was: ‘I always thought you can’t have chocolate and Christmas cake together, yet it works surprisingly well!’

Everyone experienced a real sense of pride. The benefits were not just the fundraising, but the experience, skills and self-confidence gained by Brighton YMCA residents during the process. The staff and residents were overwhelmed with the generosity of all people involved in the process and on the day. Almost everyone who visited the stall bought something and even when there was nothing left to buy, people generously decided to give donations to support the cause.