As the Edinburgh Festival Fringe packs up for another year, and the residents of Edinburgh heave a collective sigh of relief, join us for a round-up of fundraising fun at Waverley Care!
A record breaking year at the Pleasance
Throughout August, around 120 people got involved in bucketshaking at the Pleasance Courtyard and Pleasance at the EICC, collecting donations and talking to people about our work. For the first time, we were also able to collect card donations through our contactless device, Hamish!
All in, these collections raised an astounding £48,565, absolutely smashing our previous record of £37,970, collected during 2016 as we celebrated our 25th Fringe at the Pleasance.
This total includes general bucketshaking, plus a number of post-show collections where performers gave a shout out about our work to their audiences. These included Young Pleasance, Dad’s Army, Woyzek, Marcus Brigstocke, Paul Merton, Reginald D Hunter, Adam Kay, Showstoppers, Cirque Berserk and the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. In addition, thanks to EUSA who carried collection cans across all of their bars at the Pleasance. We are so grateful for this support.
Every penny collected was hand counted by yet more amazing volunteers, and with matched funding still to come courtesy of volunteers from Lloyds Banking Group and Ernst & Young, the good news keeps on coming!
Alongside the efforts of our bucketeers, there was a fantastic mix of shows supporting our work this year.
Our flagship Tartan Ribbon Comedy Benefit returned for another sold-out night of top comedy as regular host Stuart Goldsmith headed a line-up including Jayde Adams, Hal Cruttenden and Mark Watson. All proceeds from the event support Waverley Care, and we are waiting for final confirmation of how much has been raised.
After the roaring success of last year’s debut show for Waverley Care, we were delighted that the team behind Amusical returned with another one-off show to support our work. Jayde Adams (hot on the heels of her Tartan Ribbon appearance), Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Dave Cribb led the way as comedians swapped stand up for show tunes to hilarious effect.
2018 has been another landmark year for our long-running partnership with the Pleasance as we broke past the £500,000 mark. None of it would be possible without the hard work of a great many people. We would like to particularly thank Anthony Alderson and Ryan Taylor at the Pleasance, the many acts that supported us, our tremendous volunteers, and our Fringe Coordinators – Anna, Cameron, Rohanie, Roo and Sam.
Amid the celebrations, there was also sad news among our Pleasance family this year. Ahead of the Fringe, we teamed up with Darren Hardie, a young Glasgow playwright who was taking his play Fronting, to the Pleasance. Fronting tells the story of David, a young man coming to terms with his HIV diagnosis. Darren reached out to us to offer support for Waverley Care during the run but sadly passed away during the Fringe. In the short time we knew him, Darren, and his cast and crew, made a big impression on the fundraising team and our coordinators. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
The Biggest Comedy Event on the Fringe
Our relationship with Off the Kerb, one of the UK’s leading comedy agencies, stretches back over a decade and their Waverley Care Comedy Gala has become the biggest comedy event on the Fringe.
This year over 2,000 people joined us for the show at the Edinburgh Playhouse, which featured a whopping 21 comedians led by Tom Allen and Joel Dommett. Acts on the night included Reginald D. Hunter, Rosie Jones, Suzi Ruffell, Lost Voice Guy, Angela Barnes and Mark Watson (doubling up after his Tartan Ribbon appearance!).
It’ll be a few weeks before we know the final total raised in ticket sales, but this will be added to the almost £1,600 raised in buckets outside.
A huge thank you to our friends at Off the Kerb and the Playhouse, to all the amazing comedians who appeared at the Gala, and to our volunteer bucketeers.
Getting in on the act
In years gone by, our Fringe work has focused purely on fundraising, but this year, one of our projects decided to take to the stage!
Jerusalem, from our My Voice FGM Project, joined Oonagh O’Brien of Queen Margaret University for Never a Soft Touch – a mix of poetry, personal stories and presentation, shining a light on the issue of FGM in Scotland.
An audience of 65 people joined in the event, which was part of the Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas – a platform to promote discussion and debate on a range of current research issues. A collection at the end of the performance also helped to raise £70.
A late addition to the Fringe programme, we were delighted that our friends at Austentatious returned to the Underbelly for a one-off performance for Waverley Care.
For the show, the cast of the popular Jane Austen-inspired improv comedy swap roles, with men playing women and vice versa.
Over £200 was collected after the show, with proceeds from ticket sales still to be added. Thank you to the all-star cast of buxom boys and dashing dames.
Close to Home
Among the international acts at the Fringe, there were a few familiar local faces performing, and we’d like to thank them all for their support.
First up, Scotland’s LGBT choir, Loud and Proud, presented their annual showcase in support of Waverley Care, performing a mix of Scottish music spanning Burns to the Proclaimers! A collection of £615 will be added to proceeds from ticket sales, which we should hear about in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, our good friends at the Bohemians entertained audiences with their take on some of the biggest hits of musical theatre in their show Reimagined. A post-show collection for took in £330.
We were delighted to team up with Captivate Theatre as they arrived at the Fringe with their production of RENT. The company has previously supported Waverley Care performing Jonathan Larson’s hit musical in 2013, and this latest production helped us raise £1,200 in a post-show collection.
Finally, though not performers as such, we were delighted to team up with the gang from Edinburgh’s student radio station, Fresh Air, who once again got in on the fundraising act with their 24hr Fresh Fringe show. Presenters, Sophie and Xavi served up a mix of interviews, music and chat, raising £435.
Out of Nothing…
You can guarantee that at least once every year, a show will surprise us with the offer of support, and 2018 was no exception. Following a chance encounter with one of the team at the Pleasance, a group of LGBT acts offered to collect for us. The shows – Sod’s Law, Broken Romantics: A Unicorn’s Quest for Love, and Queer Words were all on at Greenside and collected £350.
All in, before proceeds from benefit shows and matched funding is taken into account, our running total for the Fringe in 2018 is an amazing £53,370.
This is an astonishing total and we would like to say a big, final thank you to all the organisations, venues and performers who have supported us this year, and to everyone who donated.
We are also incredibly grateful to all of our amazing coordinators and to the volunteers who shook buckets, counted coins, made ribbons and helped out in the fundraising office to make this possible.
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