Hundreds of scrumptious cakes, a sprinkle of community spirit and a staggering £10,166 was raised for Haven House at a community tea party in South Woodford last week.

The sun shone and the Pimm’s flowed at the garden party in Derby Road on Friday 16 June. The event, organised by Haven House volunteer and supporter Michelle Vanlint, is now in its 17th year and is a much-loved event in our hospice calendar and of the local community.

Michelle's baking prowess knows no bounds, as she not only whipped up lots of delectable cakes herself (some 300 in total to date), but she also enlisted the help of her talented friends and neighbours who brought their best bakes to the table.

Michelle said:

“I am totally amazed and overwhelmed by how successful another year has been. Thank you to everybody that supported including all the cake makers, dishwashers, raffle prize donators, online donators, cake eaters, Pimm’s drinkers, fruit choppers, gazebo builders, furniture collectors, hamper makers plus so many more people that contributed to the success of the event."

Funds were also raised with a raffle and stalls selling plants, candles, chutneys, jewellery and pampering products.

Reiko Murray, Senior Community and Events Manager at Haven House, added:

“Michelle’s tea party is an abundance of laughter, delectable treats, and a warm sense of community coming together for a truly unforgettable experience. It was such a lovely afternoon in the sunshine and was wonderful to see so many people raising funds for Haven House. Michelle and her team of helpers run a slick operation and the attention to detail does not go unnoticed – from the pretty teacups, the mountain of tea towels, the army of volunteers and the hundreds of home-made cakes. Well done Michelle and friends on another fantastic event.”

Michelle moved to South Woodford in 2003 and at the time didn't know many people in the area. She then read about Haven House in a local magazine so contacted the hospice to find out about volunteering. Since then, she has organised various fundraising events including bingo and quiz nights. Her tea party is her biggest event and is loved by all. 

Thanks to event sponsors Venture Studios, Pimms’ sponsors Emma Charles, Steve Thorn and TWC financial and Precision Printing and Pariena Charalambous for the poster design and printing.

Host your own tea party! Get together for a cup of tea and cake to support seriously ill children.