For the Pepper Foundation, 2023 was a year of opportunity and change; for the first time since the pandemic we were really able to throw our weight behind events, which are the lifeblood of any charity. Like many charities, we were able to move from the short-term planning that the pandemic necessitated, to the longer term plans that allow us to grow and secure the future of the services that we support.
Last year saw a lot of people change within our little charity. After 7 years as our Chair, trustee Pat Daley stepped down. During Pat’s tenure as Chair, Pepper went through much change and we thank her for her stewardship. Taking over from Pat was Pepper Founder and Trustee, Robert Breakwell. We are delighted to once again have Robert as chair.
2023 saw many changes to our board of Trustees. We had to say goodbye to Kerie Ivory, Christine Ronaldson, and Patrick Stevens. But we’re especially happy that both Patrick and Kerie are both still heavily involved in the annual Pepper Show, where their work (on and off stage) is invaluable.
We also welcomed some new faces too! Caroline Hawkes, Eric Pillinger, and Jonathan Tweed all joined the board, bringing with them a wealth of enthusiasm and expertise. Both Eric and Jonathan have a long and active history with the Pepper Foundation and we’re happy to welcome them back.
From the operational side of the organisation, we also said goodbye to our Community and Corporate Fundraising Lead, Ruth Proudfoot and Community Fundraiser Natalie Freemantle. But we were lucky enough to welcome our new Head of Fundraising, Kiah Nicolas, and Fundraising Officer, Raj Athwal-Browne.
In 2022, our charity partner Rennie Grove Hospice (with whom we’ve working with since the 1990s) went through a merger with Peace Hospice Care to form Rennie Grove Peace Hospice Care. This went live in 2023, creating a larger and stronger charity with the ability to help more people.
The Children’s Hospice at Home service we fund remains an important part of their service to the community in Bucks and Herts. You can fund out more on their website.
Magical Mystery Tour
The Pepper Family Day Out returned again for 2023. For the second time since the pandemic, we were able to run our family day out, which was held at Whipsnade again. In 2022, due to bad weather and a number of other circumstances, we weren’t able to offer the scale of event we had wanted. Thankfully in 2023 we were able to offer a better event (and the weather held!), with many more families using the Children’s Hospice at Home service being able to attend.
The Pepper Foundation paid for families entry into the zoo, arranged travel for some families with significant mobility requirements, and organised a picnic time to allow families to meet other families caring for children with life-limiting conditions.
We are planning to run many more family events for 2024 and look forward to offering families and parents more opportunities to spend fun time together.
With a little help from my friends
One of the most thrilling aspects of 2023 was our return to running a full calendar of events. Many of these events were run with the help of some of our most prolific long-term corporate partners.
In 2023 we were lucky enough to run not one, but two golf days! A huge thank you to both Allazo Accounting & Consultancy in Berkhamsted, and Think Specialist Recruitment in Hemel Hempstead for the massive amount of work both companies did to deliver the golf days at Stocks and Berkhamsted Golf Clubs respectively. Both golf days combined raised thousands of pounds and were a vital part of our 2023 fundraising.
Hillier Hopkins Five-A-Side
In July we once again were the recipients of the funds raised by the hugely popular Hillier Hopkins Five-a-side tournament at Watford Powerleague in July 2023. The tournament attracts teams from businesses across Hertfordshire and is a great evening out for participants and spectators! Pepper Chair, Robert Breakwell and Trustee Jonathan Tweed were both in attendance representing the Pepper Foundation. We’re extremely grateful for Hillier Hopkins continued support.
Hillier Hopkins Managing Principal, Alex Bottom
We are delighted to be supporting The Pepper Foundation. Through our football tournament we are hoping to raise much needed funds and awareness about their valuable work. As anyone with a family can imagine, having a seriously ill child must be horrendous, so being able to have hospice at home helps to reduce the strain on the whole family at this awful time. A huge thank you to everyone taking part and supporting our event and the charity.
Boxmoor Santa Dash
Just before Christmas, we ran (literally) the first Boxmoor Santa Dash in Hemel Hempstead. This was our first foray into running events and was entirely the brainchild of events superhero Danny Mount of G&F Events. We can’t thank Danny enough for his hard work and tireless enthusiasm throughout 2023. We are looking forward to working with Danny again for Christmas 2024!
Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Then who could forget the centrepiece of our annual fundraising – The Pepper Show! 2023 was the most successful year we’ve had since the show restarted after the pandemic. We also revealed at the 2023 show that, since the Pepper Show started in 1989, it has raised almost ONE MILLION pounds for children’s hospice care. This is an incredible testament to both the community that has supported the show for the last 34 years, and also to the cast and crew (past and present) who give up their free time every year to ensure that the show goes on.
In 2023 we welcomed many new volunteers to the charity. We can’t do anything without the help of our volunteers, so we would like to thank everyone who worked one of the many events we organised or attended this year.
Got to get you into my life
If you would like to get involved with the Pepper Foundation, please get in touch! We always need new volunteers to help with events. We’re also interested in hearing from musicians, singers, artists or anyone with specific skills that might help us do more to raise awareness and money. Get in touch with our fundraising team on 01442 507324, via our website, or via email.