< Fundraising Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

Coffee Day success in Falkirk

Mariot Dallas reports:

We had a very enjoyable MMF Coffee Day at the end of May in Trinity Church hall, with a steady flow of customers for hot drinks, filled rolls and delicious home baking.  We were happy to welcome regular customers from Trinity Church, passers-by who saw the banner and smelt the coffee and a heartwarming number of MMF friends who made a special journey to Falkirk to support the event. You know who you are and we were delighted to see you!

John Dallas’s accordion playing set our toes tapping. The Freedom of Mind Community Choir sang a selection of well-loved favourites and soon had us all singing along. In the kitchen, MMF Trustees and volunteers worked hard as they learned how to operate the kitchen equipment. In no time we were operating as a plausible catering team!

We raised over £400 in donations. We enjoyed telling the MMF story through our publicity material. The small prints of some of the Mamie and Jack historic photos from the 1920s generated a lot of interest.

We are grateful to Nina, business manager from the church, for all her help and encouragement. We hope to book the hall again in December for a Christmas Coffee Day. Watch this space.

Falkirk Coffee day Sat 25th May

Mariot writes about our upcoming coffee day in Falkirk:

“I very seldom drink coffee, I’m mostly rooibos and herbal teas. Coffee is for special occasions, when I’m out about and spending time with my friends and is often accompanied by cake or some other sweet treat.

Saturday 25 May is marked on my calendar already because there will be a Coffee Day in Falkirk, in Trinity Church Hall  FK11JN, from 11.00 till 14.30. It’s a fundraiser for the Mamie Martin Fund, a Scottish charity which helps girls in Malawi get their secondary education. It’s a great cause to support and when you come to the Coffee Day our photos and displays will tell you why. As you enjoy your refreshments and browse the displays, you can also enjoy some live music from the Freedom of Mind Community Choir and from John Dallas on the accordion.

Did I mention the soup? Freshly prepared soup and filled rolls are on the menu, along with a selection of sweet treats.

So, tea, coffee, and sweet treats; soup and filled rolls; live entertainment AND supporting girls in school in Malawi … what’s not to like? Save the date now!

Look forward to seeing you.”

Seasonal fun

Santa looked at the weather forecast and believed it. He set off for Inverness, leaving Rudolph behind to rest. He reckoned that he would manage fine without the red nose and the unerring GPS direction-finding. Wrong! The weather changed (of course) and Santa was in trouble once he got to Loch Ness.

Read about Santa’s problems and the help he got from the locals in this lovely book. It is a children’s story book in charming verse. Sam Steele is the author. He lives in Inverness and he was generous to the Mamie Martin Fund when we met at Jade Stein’s 30th Open Mic of her #Birthday30 challenge. Sam offered to help us raise some funds through this Santa book. So we now have it on our website and we get a share of the proceeds of every sale made through our online shop. It’s lovely to have such a cheery project to share with you all. Do have a look and see who rescued Santa and his sleigh!

“Don’t worry, I’m Nessie. There’s no need to despair; it’s not often I stick my head up in the air.”

Sam Steele, Santa’s adverture at Loch Ness

Helen does ‘The ROC’ for deaf girls’ education

“Apparently the swim is flat”

Helen Nyul will be attempting the Roc England on 2nd September by swimming, biking and running up and down Scafell Pike, totalling 111km with over 3,000 ft of elevation in one day.

She describes her feeling: “I like a challenge. But I am absolutely, hands down, scared of this one. Not a feeling I am used to. But what better way to meet a challenge than to make it all about someone else? The deaf girls at school in Malawi deserve equal opportunities, and I bet that my challenge pales into insignificance compared to theirs. The Thompson Fund, run by the Mamie Martin Fund, is a special charity to my Mum and Dad, and me as well. We appreciate anything you can give to help deaf girls in Malawi get a full and rewarding secondary education.”

Helen’s target is to raise enough money (£2,100) to send a deaf girl to school for all six years of her secondary education at Embangweni, Northern Malawi.

Video: The first Thompson Girls at Embangweni Secondary School, Northern Malawi

Deaf girls’ education in Malawi: Not only are girls less likely to go to secondary school than boys and are more likely to drop out, but having a disability further exacerbates issues associated with equality. Disabled girls in Malawi have been described as ‘the poorest of the poor’ in terms of access to money and opportunities. They are at the end of the line when most families make decisions about allocating resources among their children. Paying the girls’ school fees and providing other necessities allows them to get a secondary education. In recent years, two MMF girls have taken time out to have babies but have been supported back to school by Mercy Sibande, MMF’s Country Director, who worked with the families and the school to give these girls back their chances of education.

Helen’s fundraising page: https://tinyurl.com/Helen-ROC

The challenge itself: https://www.theroc.com/the-roc-england/

Karin completes her #Birthday30 challenge

Congratulations to Karin Kastern who is the first #Birthday30 participant to complete her challenge. Karin lives and works in Norfolk, England. Her project was to visit 30 Norfolk churches. That county seems to be littered with very old and picturesque churches, as Karin’s photos show. Not only did she visit and photograph these churches, Karin also gave us bits of information about each one. You will find her page fascinating because we have included these snippets of local history.

Thanks to Karin’s daughter, MMF volunteer, Heidi, for introducing her to #Birthday30. Great credit to Karin for getting herself registered and for sending photos and info for each of these churches.

You can check out how the other #Birthday30 folk are doing here. There is still time to join them (link here) – the project goes on all year – the year of our 30th birthday, of course.

Kiltwalking in the rain

On Sunday 30th April, 3,500 people walked in the Glasgow Kitwalk 2023. Among them were Kathleen and Nick, who walked the full 23 miles from Glasgow to Balloch. Captain Violet and her group walked 14.5 miles from Clydebank to Balloch. Toffee, the dog, is too old and stiff for this year’s walk but Simone and her children, Yara (11) and Sa’Ad (13), walked with (Aunty/Captain) Violet and Sud.

In true West of Scotland style, it rained most of the day. Spirits were not dampened, though. There is only so wet you can get. Moira supported the team on her bike, meeting up at pitstops with food, moral support and encouragement. Yara has just come back from her school outdoor-bound week and had sore ankles. These were strapped up by St Andrews First Aid at each pitstop – lots of TLC was administered too and she continued very bravely.

The atmosphere on the Kiltwalks is always great. The fun on the Glasgow one is hard to beat, regardless of the weather. People supported each other, laughed and fooled around and they just ignored the rain. It did clear up just as the MMF team was finishing. That was nice for the photos.

Thanks to those intrepid walkers, to all their supporters and to those who have donated to their fundraising page – there is still time to support them with a wee donation. They have raised enough for a Malawian girl’s fees for three (almost four) years. Wow!


Dad & Daughter ran for Malawi

Against the backdrop of the horrendous effects of Cyclone Freddy in Southern Malawi and a drought in the North, it has been great to see the positivity around Hannah and Phil Wright running in the Manchester Marathon today. What a great good-news story. They completed the 42 kms (26.2 miles) in 3 hours and 57 minutes. How amazing is that?. Phil and Hannah have been running together for 10 years but this was their first marathon. Hannah explains:

I started doing cross country at primary school in Malawi. Dad used to run the cross country club at our school and we ran around the botanical gardens in Zomba together. Dodging the baboons! This is our first race together and will be a massive challenge. We enjoy running as it is a way to spend time together and stay fit.”

Hannah and Phil have already raised enough money to send a Malawian girl to school for three of the four years of secondary school. They are overwhelmed by this generous support of family and friends. They are well on the way to making it a full four years of funding.

The engagement on social media today was lovely. Friends from far and wide posted encouragment and made donations. Old friends rediscovered each other too. Almost all the donations of the £1k already raised came in small amounts – £5, £10, £20. Never think that your donation is too small to make a difference. It is the only thing that does – to paraphrase Margaret Mead.

Lighthouses – #Birthday30

It’s lovely to see what activities our supporters are doing as their #Birthday30 challenges. We love the photos sent in by loyal supporter, Jean Gordon. Jean is spotting 30 lighthouses this year. In an effort to scoop several in one trip, she recently went on a bus tour of East Lothian, Berwickshire and Northumberland with reservoir-visiting Sue Dumbleton.

They visited some fascinating places and we put together this short video of Jean’s lighthouses to date.

Some of the facts we’ve learnt from Jean are:

A light on the spire of Berwick-upon-Tweed’s Town Hall acted as a landing light for shipping before the current lighthouse was built.

Brownsman Island has not one but two lighthouse ruins (1800 and 1811), later replaced by the Longstone Lighthouse – look closely and see the seals!

That Longstone Lighthouse was the home of Grace Darling, the lighthouse keeper’s daughter, famous for rescuing survivors from the 1838 wreck of the Forfarshire.


Pledge 100 off to a great start

This being the centenary of Mamie and Jack Martin’s marriage and journey to Malawi, we launched our #Pledge100 project on 1st January. Shona McAllister is our first pledger – she will run a 5k 100 times this year. 

Shona used to run a bit many years ago but took it up seriously during the first lockdown. As part of a virtual running club, a group of six women who motivated each other, she achieved ‘Couch to 5k’ and decided to keep up her running. She says that she could not have done that without the support of those friends. Her ambition was to run well for half an hour. Having achieved that, she is now working on improving her pace. That is a bit tricky in the bad weather so she describes herself as being in ‘maintenance mode’ at the moment.

Shona reminds us that exercise is very good for our mental health. She says that lockdown transformed her lifestyle; she currently works from home and takes a lot more exercise. She and her husband have a new puppy, who is called ‘Emmeline’ after the famous suffragette. No more needs to be said about Shona’s views on girls’ education and her support of our work in Malawi. 

Shona’s connection with the Mamie Martin Fund goes back to her late father, who played in a band with Willie Sinclair, Mamie’s grandson. They held many fundraisers for MMF and Shona thinks of herself as running these 5Ks in her Dad’s memory. 

Shona lives in the southside of Glasgow with Queen’s Park and Linn Park nearby – excellent running opportunities. She hopes that the awareness and money which she is raising by this pledge will support our work with a view to improving equality and girls’ empowerment and reducing rates of child marriage in Malawi; she wants ‘to create a more equal society’. You can support Shona in her pledge or join her by also registering to do 100 of something this year.