The very efficient Murrays Printers in Longtown did the business for us, printing out 2,000 tickets in books of five. And although it is a 'Festive' raffle, we've started selling early and will be selling them (unless we run out - we can but hope!) right up until the draw date which is January 31 2019. A long shelf life is good in one way in that it means we can probably sell more tickets, but the slight drawback is that we can't really have Christmassy prizes - who wants a large Christmas pudding or a set of 12 crackers in January? - well I wouldn't say no but that's not the point.
We at Carlisle Mencap are always on the lookout for donation of prizes because we are quite prolific in the raffle/tombola stakes. From a £1 bar of chocolate to a two-week holiday or a car (again, we can but hope...) we gratefully receive anything and everything - as long as someone is likely to want to win it.
For the main festive raffle, we are eternally grateful to the likes of Sally's Cottages, the Gretna Hall Hotel, and Reays Coaches for our three main prizes which are well worth winning. But other companies like Sainsbury's and Marks & Spencer, along with local restaurant and eateries also help us out with vouchers, meal tickets etc.
I've only been in this role since May and I am very pleasantly surprised at how companies, groups and individuals are willing to help out wherever they can - especially in these austere times. There again, we provide much-needed support and services to hundreds of people young and old so I think many believe that our mission is a very worthy one.
'Hey Phil ,what about the fitness drive malarkey?' I hear you cry. Well, as I previously mentioned, I've joined the wonderful DW Fitness centre in Carlisle - along with my wife Sue who is giving me much-needed moral and in this case physical support in my quest - as I gear up for: 1) Walking 20 miles around Watchtree Nature Reserve on Sunday November 4, then 2) Walking nearly 70 miles from our children's respite centre in Ulverston to our Grace Little children's centre in north Carlisle next May.
The fitness training was going along very nicely thank you until a few days ago when my right elbow decided to swell up to something resembling the size of the Graf Zeppelin. Turned out it was 'infected bursitis' which the GP said was either due to scrape or a bite becoming infected, or due to some form of RSI - so that could be the DW rowing machine in the dock and charged. Shame if it is the latter, I enjoy that machine.
Anyway a case of anti-biotics was prescribed and rest. The fact I'm typing this now shows you that the 'rest' bit has been largely ignored, but I'm religiously taking the anti-biotics (and by that I don't mean just on Sundays) and the swelling is starting to go down. But I'm still walking the dogs - making sure the leads are in my left hand - and therefore doing some form of exercise.
Colleagues Sheila and Morag are also stepping out on November 4 so there is some healthy competition regarding filling in our sponsorship forms. But I have a blog and they don't - so please feel free to sponsor ME! (Taking an unfair advantage, moi?)
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