Our Super Supporters: Dynamic Duo
Hardip Atwal has been a Special Constable in Scotland for 12 years. Graham Smith has 19 years’ police service and works in Police Scotland’s Serious Crime Division. Together, they have raised thousands of pounds for COPS.
Q. Thank you for all you do in support of COPS. How did you first hear about COPS and what made you want to support us?
A. We have been aware of COPS and the fantastic work it does for a number of years.
It was just over a year ago when colleagues of ours were planning the Run Doonhame charity run that we decided that we would get involved and organise a number of fundraisers in an effort to raise as much money as possible for the two designated charities, COPS and Cash for Kids.
Initially we only planned to do one charity event but due to the reaction it got and the money we raised we kept going and in total held five separate events.
Q. You have done a lot of fundraising in your time. Tell us about some of the events you have produced in support of COPS.
A. We have held a number of events, including a children’s fun day, which saw us dressing up as Disney characters; Curry nights, which saw us dressing up as Bhangra dancers; Multicultural nights; a cheese and wine night with a medium and Adele tribute act; and a Samosa night.
During these nights we have been able to provide fantastic entertainment, thanks to the generosity of the performers, including Pipers, Highland Dancers, Adele tribute Rumour Has It, medium Cameron Murray, Lalli Devri belly dancers and our good friends at VIP Entertainment in Glasgow who have provided us with Dhol drummers, pianists, singers, DJs and even a beat boxer.
Q. What has been your favourite fundraising event so far and can you tell us why?
A. It’s hard to pick a favourite event as they have all been so good – dressing up and dancing with the belly dancers was obviously a highlight.
However, I think it has to be our original curry night as it was the success of that, that gave us the incentive to keep going and raise more money.
Q. How much money have your fundraising events raised in total for Care of Police Survivors?
A. Last year, between our events and along with our colleagues who did the Run Doonhame challenge, we raised a total of just over £26,000 for our two charities.
This allowed us to hand over a cheque to COPS for £13,215.75.
Q. What advice would you give to any budding fundraisers out there who want to get started raising money?
A. We aren’t going to lie and say it’s not hard work and stressful at times, because it is. There is always that constant worry that nobody will buy the tickets or the entertainment won’t turn up.
However, the feeling you get when you count the money you’ve raised and hand that cheque over to the charity is amazing and makes it all so worthwhile, especially when you get an opportunity to speak with those people that the charity has helped over the years.
We have been fortunate that we have been able to hand a substantial cheque to both our charities. However, just remember every little helps and we would strongly advise anyone that has the time and a fundraising idea to put it in to practice and experience that feeling you get when you hand over the cheque.
Q. And finally, have you got any events coming up? If so, how can our newsletter readers support you?
A. We have a Multicultural Ball organised at Easterbrook Hall, Dumfries on Saturday 19 August, which again will split the proceeds between COPS and Cash for Kids.
Our guests for the night will be treated to an Indian meal as well as entertainment from Highland Dancers, Pipers, Dhol Drummers, Adele tribute act Rumour Has It, a beat boxer and more.
Tickets for the event are £30 and can be purchased from Hardip on 07796 322012 or Graham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our night will also have a raffle and auction and we are always on the hunt for prizes, so if anyone can help with this we would love to hear from you.