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Malta and Gozo Raise Funds by Walking
MU Fundraising and Membership Assitant Georgina Anstee speaks to the Malta and Gozo Branch Leader
I had the opportunity to speak with Susan Warner who is the Branch Leader for Malta and Gozo. We spoke about her branch during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and about her amazing fundraising walk during lockdown, which saw them raise the highest amount they had achieved for the walking challenge.
About Malta & Gozo
Susan has been a member of Mothers’ Union for a number of years and first joined when she was living in the UK. The Malta and Gozo branch itself has been running since 1997 and at present they have 15 members. They have a number of ways to keep their existing members engaged, through having monthly meetings to discuss everyone’s ideas on important topics, such as fundraising ideas and where those funds will go. The emphasis is that all members in the group have a voice and have the space to discuss ideas.
The branch also want to encourage new members to join so they have lots of information on what Mothers’ Union is and the types of work members and the central charity are involved in. They also hang their Mothers’ Union banner proudly! They also have meetings which are engaging to those who are considering joining their branch which centre on themes that are open to everyone, as well as always being on hand to answer any questions or provide more information.
The branch unfortunately haven’t been able to have their formal meetings due to Covid-19 and the warm weather over the summer months, however Susan has been supporting members by meeting up with individual members where she can and calling members to check in with them. Susan has also been supporting members on how to use Zoom, by taking the time to go through all the steps and explaining the different ways to join a Zoom meeting. This year the branch will be hosting the AGM via Zoom, so I’m sure Susan’s training will come in very useful here and I’m sure for future events as well!
Fundraising walking challenge
The Malta and Gozo branch have been taking part in the annual 5km walking challenge for the last four years. It was first brought about because Susan saw an email from Mothers’ Union and suggested it to the branch. Susan wasn’t too sure if the members would want to get involved, however it turned out there was a high uptake who wanted to take part in the challenge.
Since the first year, the branch members have taken part in the walking challenge every year and often volunteered their friends and family to get involved. The first year they raised 500 euros, and each year they have raised a little more. The successes of the walking challenge has meant that funds raised have been a substantial source of income, which have been used to for support their local community and Mothers’ Union.
This year the branch were unsure whether they would be able to still complete the walking challenge due to Covid-19. However, like so many of our amazing members, they took it all in their stride and adapted the walking challenge in order to adhere to the restrictions. It was adapted as members could only walk in small numbers. Plus, the challenge was extended over a few days, in the past the walking event has taken place on one specific date.
The allowance of having the walking challenge over a few days meant that members had more flexibility on when they completed it. For a few members, who felt they may not be able to complete the whole 5km in one trip, it meant they could walk a little each day to achieve the overall target.
This years’ event saw 11 people complete the challenge, seven of which were members, and four were friends and family. The walking challenge raised an incredible 1,046 euros, double the amount of their first event! The funds raised have meant the branch will be able to continue supporting twelve families in the local community with food parcels, which they make and put together themselves.
The funds will also be used to distribute toiletries and necessities to refuges and migrant camps. Additionally, they are finalising a donation to the MU general international fund on top of the 1,000 euro donation they made earlier in the year for the Urgent Appeal.
The work of the Malta & Gozo group supporting local communities and those in need is incredible, and it is so uplifting to hear they have had such a huge success with their fundraising despite the difficulties Covid-19 has posed.
Words by Georgina Anstee